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The Default Printer

Sun Advocate/Progress Webmaster

These days it isn't uncommon to have more than one printer attached to a computer. Some printers may be locally connected printers attached with USB or parallel cables, and others might be a printer connected to a remote networked PC. Other printers may include "virtual" printers that don't actually produce tangible results on paper, like those included with fax or PDF software, for example. Although any of them can be chosen from an application's print window, one is always pre-selected. The question is, how do you define which printer that is?

The simple answer is that the computer's default printer always gets picked automatically when a program's print feature is invoked. By setting a printer as the default, it will automatically be pre-selected. To do this, follow these simple steps (which assume you are running Windows XP, have a right-handed mouse configuration and have the regular start menu turned on):

1) Click on the Start button.

2) Find the "Printers and Faxes" menu option. It should be located directly under the "Control Panel" menu icon.

3) Hover your mouse pointer over the "Printers and Faxes" menu option and press the left mouse button.

4) The "Printers and Faxes" window should appear. Inside should be a list of all the printers installed on the computer. Hover the mouse pointer over the new default printer's icon and press the right mouse button.

5) Hover the mouse pointer over "Set as Default Printer" in the resulting menu and press the left mouse button. If the operation completed successfully, a black check box will be displayed alongside the icon.

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