PowerPoint Basics:

Title: Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101

Did you want: Working with Presentations: PowerPoint 2007,2010,2013,2016 or español

Printers come in a variety of general types with a variety of features available. You must know what your printer can do!

Ink Jet vs. Laser

The most common types of printers for home, school, and small business are ink jet and laser printers. Both can produce high quality print-outs. A standard ink jet prints in color. A standard laser printer does not. Color laser printers are much more expensive than ink jet printers!

Ink Jet:

  • Uses 1 or 2 or 4 or more ink cartridges, such as -
    • one black cartridge
    • one 3-color cartridge, blending colors to make black
    • 2 cartridges: 3-color cartridge plus black cartridge
    • 4 cartridges: CMYK= cyan, magenta, yellow, black
    • more than four, including ink colors that help with flesh tones in photos
  • Advantage: Ink jet printer less expensive than laser
  • Advantage: Ink less expensive that toner for laser
  • Disadvantage: Large solid areas of ink may smear while drying


  • Uses 1 black toner cartridge or 4 cartridges for color: CMYK = cyan, magenta, yellow, black
  • Advantage: Print quality higher than ink jet - finer lines
  • Advantage: Faster than ink jet
  • Disadvantage: More expensive than ink jet printer
  • Disadvantage: Color laser much more expensive
  • Toner cartridges more expensive each than ink jet cartridges but last longer

Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Presentations

Before you start...

Project 1: PowerPoint Basics
    Getting StartedTo subtopics
    Interface To subtopics
    Create To subtopics
    Printing Arrow to Subtopics
    Icon: Step-by-StepPrint Preview
    Icon: Step-by-StepPrint Dialog
    ExercisesTo subtopics

Project 2: PowerPoint FormattingTo subtopics

Project 3: Advanced PowerPoint To subtopics


Multiple Printers

The list of printers that have been installed on the computer is in the Printers or Printers and Faxes group in the Control Panel. Some of these may be virtual printers, meaning that there is no hardware there at all.

To open the printers group: Start | Control Panel | Printers and Faxes (or just Printers)
 or Start | Settings | Printers                                     

Control Panel | Printers and Faxes (WinXP)

Printers and Faxes (WinXP)

Control Panel | Printers (Win98)

Printers (Win98)

Dialog: Print - list of printers

The Print dialog also lists the installed printers.

"Printer" Icons

The list of printers may include printers that are not actually connected to the computer or the network. Some may not be actual pieces of hardware at all. This can be confusing!

Icon: default printerDefault printer: Marked with a checkCheckmark for default printer. This printer is used when you do not pick a specific printer from the list.

Icon: Shared printer Shared printer:   An printer icon with an open hand on it shows that the printer is shared. That means that it is available to other computers on the network but is connected to a particular computer.

Icon: networked printer Network printer: A printer connected directly to the network. The printer icon has a network cable under it.

Dialog: Print - find printersA network printer's name often  includes the location, like \\cumbsrv\cumb156p1, which is the name of printer #1 in the computer lab at Roane State Community College, Cumberland County campus, Room 156. You can use the Find Printer button on the Print dialog to search for network printers. A large network can have a LOT of printers. Roane State Community College shows 188 printers on seven campuses in the Find Printers dialog! Be sure you can get to the printer to pick up your pages!!

Icon: Printer - grayed out = unconnectedUnconnected printer: A grayed out printer icon means that the printer is not currently connected to the computer.

Icon: Printer - grayed out = unconnectedPrinter that is not accessible from your computer: You may have a printer installed that cannot be connected to your system at all. (This seems to be really hard to do with WinXP.)

Why do such a thing?? Your program formats your document for a particular printer. If that printer that is not installed on your computer, the document's format is changed. When the document is returned to the original computer for printing, it will be re-formatted again. You may have unhappy results! Having the same printer installed on both systems keeps everybody happy.

Not-really-a-printer: The list of printers can also include virtual printers, which are not physical devices. For example:

  • Icon: Fax printer Fax: The document is "printed" by sending a fax, using a fax modem.
  • Icon: print to filePublishing software: The document is formatted for the printer but the result is saved as a file instead of being sent to the printer. This is useful for large documents that you want to print later when the printer is not so busy or that you want to print at a commercial print shop.
  • Icon: Printer Acrobat PDFWriter: The document is "printed" by converting it to PDF format and saving it.

Check carefully to be sure you send your print job to the right printer!

Controlling a Printer: Printer Properties Dialog

Dialog: Printer Properties - Lexmark Z53 Color Jetprinter - General tabThe features of your printer are managed from its Properties dialog.

You open this dialog by right clicking on the printer's icon in the Control Panel group and selecting Properties.  Start  |  Control Panel  |  Printers  or  Printers and Faxes 

What you see in the Printer Properties dialog will vary greatly, depending on the brand and features of your printer. 

Controlling a Printer: Document Properties Dialog

Dialog: Print - Properties buttonConfusion: In a Print dialog, there is a Properties button. It does not open the full Printer Properties dialog. Instead it opens a Document Properties dialog, which allows you to manage features of the printer that affect your particular print-out.

Dialog: Document Properties - Lexmark Z53 - Layout tabDialog: Document Properties - Lexmark Z53 - Paper/Quality tab

You should expect your printer to let you choose Portrait or Landscape orientation, a print quality, and what media you will be printing on (i.e. paper, envelope, transparency, card stock, etc.). Not all printers can handle all kinds of media!

Dialog: Document Properties - list of mediaWarningCheck what media your printer can handle BEFORE you buy greeting card stock, photo paper, etc!

You can also open the Document Properties dialog from the Printer Properties dialog, but it is called different things by different printers. In the illustration above you would use the Printing Preferences... button

Lessons Working with Presentations Previous Next Page

Teachers: Request permission to use this site with your class

Copyright 1997-2012 Jan Smith   <jegs1@jegsworks.com>
All Rights Reserved

Icon: DonwloadIcon: CDWant a local copy with no ads? - Download/CD
Want to help?

~~  1 Cor. 10:31 ...whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  ~~

Last updated: 30 Apr 2012