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Windows Vista: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Chapter 17. Fax, Print, and Scan

Technologists got pretty excited about "the paperless office" in the 1980s, but the PC explosion had exactly the opposite effect. Thanks to the proliferation of inexpensive, high-quality PC printers, the world generates far more printouts than ever. Fortunately, there's not much to printing from Windows Vista.

Installing a Printer

All Versions

A printer is a peripheral device—something outside of the PC—and as such, it won't work without a piece of driver software explaining the new hardware to Windows. In general, getting this driver installed is a simple process. It's described in more detail in Chapter 18; here are a few notes on the process to get you started.

USB Printers

If the technology gods are smiling, then installing the driver for a typical inkjet USB printer works just as described in Chapter 18: you connect the printer, turn it on, and marvel as Vista autodetects it and autoinstalls the driver, thanks to its secret cache of hundreds of printer drivers (Figure 17-1).

You got lucky. Windows dug into its own bag of included drivers and installed the correct one. Let the printing begin.

Figure 17-1. You got lucky. Windows dug into its own bag of included drivers and installed the correct one. Let the printing begin.

If you have a really old printer, its drivers might not be Vista-compatible. Check the manufacturer's Web site, such as www.epson.com or www.lexmark.com, or a central driver repository like www.windrivers.com, to see if there's anything newer.

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