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How to Change Printer Settings

When you first install a printer in Windows XP, common settings are configured for you. The settings include which printer is used by default, whether pages are printed vertically or horizontally, what kind of paper is being used, and where that paper comes from. After you use your printer for a while, you might find that you need to change those printer settings.

Open the Printers Folder

Click the Start button and select Printers and Faxes. The Printer and Faxes window opens.

Figure 3.19

Set the Default Printer

The default printer is the printer that programs print to unless you specify a different printer. In the Printers and Faxes window, the default printer has a small check by it. Here, the Fax device is the default printer. To set a different printer as the default, right-click its icon and choose Set as Default Printer from the shortcut menu.

Figure 3.20

Open Printer Preferences

To specify your preferences for the printing options that a particular printer uses, open its Printing Preferences dialog box. Right-click a printer and choose Printing Preferences from the shortcut menu.

Figure 3.21

Change the Page Layout

Select the orientation of the pages to be printed. You can choose to print the pages in Portrait format (normal vertical orientation) or Landscape (horizontal orientation).

Figure 3.22

Change the Paper Source

Click the Paper/Quality tab to see more preferences. Click the Paper Source drop-down list to choose a different tray on your printer. The options you see in this list vary based on the printer you are configuring.

Figure 3.23

Change the Media Type

Click the Media drop-down list to choose the type of paper you want to print to. Some printers can use special kinds of paper (such as glossy paper for photos or presentation graphics, transparencies, and even slides). Those printers print differently depending on the kind of paper being used.

Figure 3.24

Change the Print Quality

Choose the quality of print you want. Better quality uses up more ink and takes more time. Draft quality prints quickly and uses less ink. When you're done setting preferences for this printer, click OK to close the dialog box and put these options into effect.

Figure 3.25

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