Printers are essential for businesses of all sizes to create hard copies of documents, images and other important information. Printers can vary in their capabilities; some printers may only print text or low-quality images, while others can produce photo-quality images, send faxes, create copies and scan images. If you have multiple printers, it is possible to connect two or more printers to a single computer.
Connecting Multiple Printers
A computer can have two or more local printers (printers connected directly to the computer) as long as it has the necessary ports to connect the printers. Many modern printers connect to computers via USB cables. Modern computers often have three or more USB ports; you can connect one USB printer for each unused USB port on your computer. To install a printer, simply connect the printer to the computer using the printer's USB cable and follow the instructions of the installation wizard that appears. During setup, you may have to download device drivers for the printer or insert a driver CD that came with the printer.
Using Multiple Printers
When you use multiple printers with one computer, you must specify which printer to use whenever you print a document or image. When you choose the "Print" option within a program, a print menu will appear. Under the "Select a Printer" menu, you must click on the printer you wish to use to print the document or image. If you do not make a selection under "Select a printer," the computer will print using the default printer.
Changing the Default Printer
You can change your computer's default printer to make the printing process more convenient. For instance, if you have a photo printer that you rarely use set as your default printer, you may wish to change the default to a printer that you use more regularly. Click the "Start" button, then "Devices and Printers," then right-click the printer you want to set as the default printer and choose "Set as default printer."
Network printers are devices that connect to a network and can be accessed by all the computers on a network. Network printers are common in businesses and computing centers, as they allow many users on a network to print to a single device. You have access to both local and network printers at the same time.
Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.