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Printer Setup

When it comes to printing, Microsoft got Plug and Play right. If you had a printer connected to your computer and powered up during Windows setup, it should have been detected and installed automatically at that time. In addition, Windows checks for new locally attached printers whenever a Computer Administrator or Power User-level user is logged on, and by default, on workgroup networks, it also periodically scans the network for shared printers, and automatically creates printer icons for these printers as well. So, in most cases, you should be able to print from Windows applications without having to lift a proverbial finger.

In an ideal world, then, there would be no need for a chapter on printer setup and management. However, if your printer isn't Plug and Play compatible, or if Windows doesn't have the proper printer driver already loaded, you'll have to install your printer manually. And, once your printer is configured, you'll probably want to control your print jobs, print to network-based printers, share your printer for others to use, and fine-tune the Windows Fax system for sending and receiving faxes through your modem. This chapter covers these topics. Before we get started, though, let's cover some of the basic terms used to describe the Windows printing system.


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