Troubleshooting Printing

Because no two printers are exactly alike, printing is more a matter of knowing your printer than knowing your computer or Windows. The best we can do here is to provide some general pointers that apply to most printers. But for specifics on your printer, referring to the manual that came with the printer or the main web page for the product will be your best bet.

First aid for printing problems

Before you start digging around the computer for solutions to a printing problem, check the most common physical problems:

  • Make sure that the printer is plugged in and turned on.
  • If the printer has an Online/Offline switch, make sure that it’s online.
  • Make sure that the printer cable is connected snugly at both the printer and computer ends.
  • Make sure that the printer has paper.
  • Make sure that the printer has ink or toner.
  • Check for, and clear, a paper jam.

If none of the preceding help, take a look at the Help topics for printing, as described next.

Document appears to print, but nothing comes out of the printer

You may have selected a printer that produces files (such as the Microsoft XPS Document Writer). After you choose File image Print to print a document, make sure you choose an appropriate printer from the Print dialog box. To avoid making this mistake, make the printer you use most often the default printer, as discussed in Chapter 32.

Problem with a network ...

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