Once you know exactly what you are going to print, you can decide between printing copies or printing to a file.
Print a copy. If you purchased the printer, plugged it in to the computer, or installed it on a network, the odds are good that you already know which features the printer offers. You probably know, for example, if it prints in color or black ink, or both. You might know all the sheet sizes of paper that you can use in the printer, or if you can staple copies as they are printed. These are common printer features that can be easy to check by looking at the printer itself.
To see if other features such as watermarks, separator pages, and image control options such as resolution and light-dark contrast are available, you might need to refer to the information that came with the printer or contact the person who installed the printer on your computer or network.
If you've added more than one printer to the computer, your default printer is automatically selected when you want to print a document or file. Depending on the type of documents you print most often and how you prefer to print, you can select a printer each time or change your default printer. For more information, see Change your default printer.
If you are printing personal or confidential information, you might want to select a printer that requires you to be present and to enter a password on the printer before the document can be printed. For information about security features on a printer, refer to the information that came with the printer.
Print to a file.
Windows offers two additional printer drivers that are displayed as printers in Control Panel and in your programs. These printers allow you to print to a file instead of printing to paper. You can print to a file when you want to send, share, or publish a document, or when you want to print it using another computer or a commercial printer.
Printing to a file is useful when you want to send a print job to a commercial printer, control how a document will appear in print, online, or on another computer, or add security features to a document before sending it or sharing it with other people. For more information about the printers that come with Windows, see these topics:
Many print options depend on the printer. After you select one, you can choose more options for printing the document.