Under windows it is possible to use any number of printing devices. Each printer
usually has a specific job for example there might be an inkjet printer for printing,
text and graphics, a label printer for printing labels, and a fax printer for sending
faxes. It is also possible to print documents using printers attached to a local
network and printers attached to other computers as long as they have been shared.
Before a printer can be used under windows it must be added and configured. To setup
and configure printers please consult windows help.
When you are deploying a program that facilitates printing it is important
to remember that all printers differ in their capabilities and performance. This
will lead to variations in the printed document obtained by the end user. Some people
don’t have a printer, so it is important to check that at least one printer is attached
to their system before attempting a print job. When you send a print job to a printer
what you are actually doing is sending the print job to a program called a print
spooler; it is called “winspool” under windows. The print spooler is a separate program
which manages a queue of print jobs. Print jobs can come from other programs, and
other users if you have a shared or networked printer. Each printer generally has
it’s own print queue. The print spooler manages the print jobs and actually sends
the print job to the printer. If an error occurs with a print job it is reported
to the print spooler, not to your program. It is not possible to detect printing
errors occurring on a printer directly, instead it is necessary to query the status
of the print spooler.
Having said all that printing is easy it essentially the same as outputting text
and graphics to the screen.