Project 1: Word Basics
Manage Printing

Title: Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101
Did you want: Working with Words: Word 2007,2010,2013,2016 or españolIcon: Change web

The Printing Process

Once you've clicked that Print button, your document is handled by:

  • Word
  • Windows' print spooler
  • Printer

Word first formats the document for the printer. If you have background printing enabled, you can continue to work on other documents while Word does this. But don't edit the document you are printing!

As Word formats the pages, the computer saves them in a section of memory called the print spooler and then feeds them to the printer as fast as the printer can handle it.

The printer begins to print as it receives data.  Modern printers have memory of their own, which speeds up the process a lot. The more memory, the better!

Warning  Long documents won't fit all at once into the printer's small memory. Your computer feeds the data to the printer in spurts. You may notice your computer is slow to react while it is feeding pages to the printer.

Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Word97-2003

Before you start...

Project 1: Word Basics
    InterfaceTo subtopics
    Getting StartedTo subtopics
    FormatTo subtopics
    Images To subtopics
    Pre-PrintTo subtopics
    Manage Printing
    ExercisesTo subtopics

Project 2: Auto ToolsTo subtopics

Project 3: BrochureTo subtopics

Project 4: ReportTo subtopics


Controlling Printing

You will find that you often need to stop a print job before it finishes. Perhaps you had the wrong color paper in the printer. Perhaps you saw an error in the document after you had started to print it. (Entirely too often!!)

Your choices of what to do vary depending on where in the printing process the document is. The faster you can decide to cancel a job, the easier it is to do.

Word Status Bar

While formatting a document for the printer, Word shows Print progress on statusbar   an animated progress icon on the status bar - pages rolling out the top of a printer. The number is the page currently being formatted for the printer. Long documents take quite a while to prepare. Short documents fly by faster than the icon can be drawn on the screen.

Cancel printing:  If the document is fairly long and you are fast enough, double-clicking this formatting icon will stop the formatting process.

Once Word is finished with its part, the progress icon returns to the spelling and grammar status icon. This does not mean that the document has finished printing! It just means that Word has finished the formatting.

You'll have to go elsewhere now to stop the print job.

Printer Window

When you tell a program to print a document, the Windows printer icon Tray icon for printer  appears in the Tray Printer icon in Tray beside the clock. If you double-click this icon, a window opens that shows all the print jobs in the print queue (waiting to be done) for this printer. You can do some managing of the printing process from this window.

If the printer is on a network, you may have to go to the computer that controls the printer to do some tasks. (Ask your instructor about the situation in your computer lab.)

Print queue

Cancel a job: Select the job in the list and press the DELETE key. If you are using a network printer, you can only cancel your own jobs. Pages that are already in the printer's memory will still print even though you deleted the job!

Pause a job: Right click on the job and choose  Pause Printing  from the popup menu. Or choose  Document   |   Pause Printing  from the Printer window menu. You probably can not pause a print job on a network printer from your own computer. You must go to the computer that controls the printer once it actually starts to print.

Change order of jobs: Drag the job to a different spot in the list. You can't change the order for a job that has already started printing. You may not be able to change the order for a networked printer from your computer.

Errors: If your printer runs out of paper, has a paper jam, is not connected to the computer, runs out of ink or toner, or experiences some other kind of problem, you may see an error message. Pay careful attention to what it says. Some printers can diagnose many problems themselves and tell you what to do.

TipYou can open this same Printer window by choosing on the Start menu  Settings |  Printers  and double-clicking on the icon for the printer you want. You may have several icons even if you have only one physical printer. When you replace a printer with a new one, the icon for the old printer remains. Some printers in the example below do not actually print anything on paper at all.  The Acrobat PDFWriter creates a file on your hard drive. WinFax sends a fax over the phone line. The checkmark shows which printer is the default printer. 

Printers installed

Printer Dialog

Some printers have their own control dialogs and their own icon in Tray, like this one for a Compaq IJ750 Tray icon for printer.  This control dialog allows you to cancel the print job but does not have a way to list the printing jobs. To provide the kind of detailed information shown below, a printer must use a bi-directional printer cable. Such cables look much like the ordinary one-way cable, but are somewhat more expensive. The extra information is worth the cost!

Control dialog for Compaq IJ750