Another nifty advantage of a home network is printer sharing, which allows everyone on the network to use the same printer, regardless of the computer to which that printer is attached. This eliminates the printing model that computer professionals call a “sneaker net,” where users copy files to a floppy disk, walk over to the computer connected to the printer they need, open the software used to create the files (of course, the software has to be installed on both computers), fetch the file from the floppy disk, and print it.
Even if you have a printer for each computer, there are great advantages to printer sharing. One is that each printer can have a different type of paper. For example, you might keep checks in one printer and paper in another, or you might want plain paper in one and a fancy bond paper in the other. If all your printers are capable of color, print documents that need color only on the printer that uses the least expensive cartridges.
In this chapter, I’ll point out the workarounds for annoyances you might encounter as you set up, configure, troubleshoot, and use network printers. This chapter assumes you’ve already completed the installation processes for each printer.
We have two HP DeskJet 550C printers, each of which is attached to a different computer. On the Sharing tab of each printer’s Properties dialog box, I selected the option to share the printer. Windows ...