Before you start
Objectives: learn where can you configure different options when it comes to Printer management in XP.
Prerequisites: no prerequisites.
Key terms: printer, document, server, driver, manage, properties, sharing, options, user, security, control
The first thing that we will talk about is Printer Object Management. To manage Printer Object we will open printer Properties.
Image 257.1 – Printer Object Properties
On the General tab we can go to the ‘Printing Preferences’ where we have different settings that we can control. These settings include paper type options, color options, layout, duplexing, etc. Those are the basic settings for the print device.
Image 257.2 – Paper and Color
On the Sharing tab we can control the sharing of our printer on the network.
Image 257.3 – Sharing Options
If our computer is in Active Directory environment, we will be able to choose to list our printer in the directory. We can also prepare various drivers for different operating systems. On the Security tab we can control print permissions.
Image 257.4 – Security Options
The Print permission gives the user or group of users the ability to print. Users with this permission can manage only their own documents on the printer. Users who have the ‘Manage Documents’ permission can manage all documents that are sent to the printer. The ‘Manage Printer’ permission enables users to control printer device settings. On the Advanced tab we can control the availability of the printer, priority, spool options, etc.
Image 257.5 – Advanced Options
On the Ports tab we can control the ports that we are using for our printer.
Image 257.6 – Ports
We can also configure options for Print Server. To manage Print Server, go to the File > Server Properties.
Image 257.7 – Server Properties
On the Drivers tab we can see all the devices installed on our Print Server.
Image 257.8 – Drivers Tab
On the Advanced tab we can set the Spool folder and printer notification.
Image 257.9 – Advanced Tab
If our printer has bidirectional support our computer can can receive a messages from the printer – like a paper jam, low on toner, out of paper messages, etc. Printer will send those messages to the Print Server. If we want those messages go toward users we have to turn on print notification. To see the print queue we can simply double click on the printer that we see in our Printers and Faxes folder.
Image 257.10 – Print Queue
Here we can see all documents that are printing. We can also pause printing, or delete a printing job. We can also reorder the jobs (the job at the top of the list will print first).
By sharing our printer we are making it available for other users on the network. Let’s go to the Control Panel and open Printers and Faxes.
Image 257.11 – Printers and Faxes
In this example we will share Alps ‘MD’ 1000 printer. Let’s right click it, and then select Sharing. This takes us straight to the Sharing tab.
Image 257.12 – Sharing Tab
Let’s select ‘Share this printer’ option. All we need to do now is to click the Apply button and our printer will be available on the network. Of course, we can alter the share name of the printer if we want. If we are using old clients that will have to connect to the printer, we should use short share name for our printer, because very old clients are not able to use the longer share names supported by more recent operating systems. If our computer was a member of a domain, here we would also have an option to list our printer in a directory. This allows users to search Active Directory for a list of available network printers. Our workstation is not a member of a domain so we don’t have that option. If necessary, we can also install additional drivers. To do that we have to click on the Additional Drivers button. This allows clients running different operating systems to automatically download the appropriate driver when they first connect to the shared printer. Let’s try to install driver for Windows 95. We have to check the ‘Intel – Windows 95, 98 and Me’ option and click OK.
Image 257.13 – Additional Drivers
Image 257.14 – Driver Location
As we can see we need to locate the appropriate driver files. If we don’t have a CD with drivers, we can always go to the manufacturers website and try to find the drivers for our printer. We will not do that now so we will click Cancel. Notice that the icon of our printer is changed.
Image 257.15 – Printer is Shared
Permissions identify the users and groups that can use a printer and the types of operations they can perform. Let’s see permissions on a printer that is already shared. Let’s right click ‘Alps MD-1000’, select Properties, and go to the Security tab.
Image 257.16 – Security Tab
If you don’t see the Security tab, your computer has Simple Sharing enabled. To disable Simple Sharing, go to the Tools menu, open Folder Options, View tab, scroll down and clear the ‘Use simple file sharing’ check box. Now let’s go back to the printers properties. As we can see, we now have a security tab for configuring printer permissions. Printer permissions control both local and network access to the printer. Notice that by default administrators can print, manage printers, and manage documents.
Image 257.17 – Everyone Group
Everyone group is only able to print to the printer. In other words, they can not manage all the documents on the printer and they can not manage the printer itself.
Image 257.18 – Creator Owner Group
A Creator Owner is someone who has created a print job and sent it to the printer. Notice that the Creator Owner has Manage Documents permission. That means that the person who created a document (who sent it to the printer) is able to manage their own documents. That’s why we are able to delete our own documents but not the document someone else sent to the printer.
Printer and Document Management
Default printer is indicated by a check-mark. To change the default printer, right-click the printer you want to be the default and select ‘Set as Default Printer’ option. We can pause printing for the entire printer. To pause a printer, right-click the printer and select ‘Pause Printing’. This pauses entire printer. That means no documents will be printed until we resume the printer again. To resume, right-click and select Resume Printing. We can also cancel all documents currently on a printer. To do that, right-click the printer and select Cancel All Documents. This removes all documents from the current print queue. To view documents waiting to be printed, double click a printer to open its print queue. From that list we can see details about the print jobs such as the number of pages in the document and the document owner. Here we can manage individual documents. We can pause, resume, restart or change the priority of individual documents. Higher priority makes that document print first. Although the document order in the queue might not change, the documents will print in order according to document priority.
Print Server Management
The Print Server is the software process that manages the flow of print jobs from the print queues to the print devices. Each Windows system with an attached print device is a Print Server. Editing server properties affects all of the printers on the computer as opposed to editing the properties of a single printer, which only affects that printer. Let’s go to the File menu and select Server Properties.
Image 257.19 – Print Server Properties
We can use the Ports tab to add, delete or configure ports. For example, if we select the Standard TCP/IP Port and click Configure Port, we will find port settings for this specific port.
Image 257.20 – Port Settings
Let’s click Cancel and take a look at the Divers tab.
Image 257.21 – Drivers Tab
The Drivers tab lists all of the drivers installed on the system. Here we can remove existing drivers, replace existing drivers, or take a look at the driver properties. We could also add additional drivers for the specific print device. If we click Add, it opens the Add Printer Driver Wizard, which helps us install printer drivers for various platforms on the print server. In other words, we could install a print driver for selected device that works on Windows 98 platform or Windows NT platform. Let’s take a look at the Advanced tab.
Image 257.22 – Advanced Tab
The Advanced tab allows us to configure the location of the Spool folder. Let’s suppose that the C drive is running out of space. We could move the print spool folder to the D drive and place it in a folder called Printers. We can also enable printer notification. We could notify clients when documents are printed, or we could notify the computer, not the user, when a remote document is printed.
Managing printers means taking care of printing preferences, printer sharing, printer security, and general availability. Every Windows computer which has printer installed is also a Print Server. On Print Server properties we can change advanced options like Spool settings, and we can also manage all printer drivers and ports.