How to Share a Wireless Printer

By Glenda Taylor, an eHow Contributing Writer

Use any printer on the network from one location.
With wireless capability, you can prepare a document on your laptop while sitting on your bed and print it from the printer in your home office, all without moving from the bed. Many computers can share a common wireless printer if you have the correct equipment and follow some easy steps.

Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need:

Networked computers with wireless capability
Wireless printer
Wireless router

Configure each computer with the “Network Setup Wizard,” found under “Network Connections” in the “Control Panel” and choose “File Sharing” when prompted. You will give your computer a name and restart it before the changes take effect.

Open the “Printers” dialog box from the “Control Panel” and choose “Sharing” from the menu that appears when you right click on the icon of the installed printer.

Give the shared printer a unique name. If you have more than one printer to share, name each one something distinct, like “Office Ink Jet” or “Mom’s Laser Printer.”

Add additional printers for sharing by opening the “Control Panel” and selecting “Printers and Hardware.” Choose the “Add a Printer” option and browse the network with “Printer Connection” to locate the printer. Follow the simple prompts and your new wireless printer will be installed and ready to share.

Hardwire a printer to a computer without a network card. Even an older computer can use the same printer. In this instance, the printer attaches to the older computer directly yet other computers can access it wirelessl through the router.

Run multiple wireless printers on the network by giving each one a specific name and enabling the sharing feature from the “Control Panel.”

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How to Make Laser Printer Toner Last Longer

By Bonnie Conrad, an eHow Contributing Writer

Get more pages out of your toner cartridges.
While laser printers generally provide superior printouts compared to other types of printers, they do so at a price. The cost of replacement toner cartridges takes many laser printer owners by surprise, with some cartridges costing well over a hundred dollars. With so much money on the line, it makes sense for anyone who uses a laser printer for home or business to get as much out of every cartridge as possible.


Compare the stated page yields on remanufactured and name brand toner. While third party and remanufactured toner is generally cheaper, the name brand cartridges could be a better value if they yield more pages.

Clean the area underneath the toner cartridge on a regular basis. Once a week, remove the toner cartridge and set it aside, then use a soft cloth or a small vacuum to clean the area where the cartridge sat. This will remove any paper dust and toner residue that could foul the paper path and cause you to waste paper and toner.

Use the print preview function before sending your documents to the printer. Sometimes the document does not look like you expected it to and if you print the document you waste that paper and the toner. Click on the “File” menu and choose “Print Preview” to see the document exactly as it will appear on the page. This gives you a chance to make any needed changes and avoid wasted effort.

Print in draft mode whenever possible to save on toner costs. To print in draft mode, click the “File” menu and choose “Print,” then click the “Properties” button. Change the DPI setting to a lower value by clicking on the “Print Quality” box.

Remove the toner cartridge from the printer and shake it vigourously, both up and down and from side to side. Shake the cartridge when you see the print beginning to get lighter. This will move the remaining toner powder around and help it last longer. Depending on your printer model and printing volume, you can get anywhere from an extra day to an extra week of printing by shaking down the cartridge.

Use the duplex feature of your printer if it is available. Duplexing prints on both the front and back of each page, helping you save both ink and paper.

Tips & Warnings


University of Delaware: The Print Preview Function

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How to Install a Network Printer on a Server

By Bennett Gavrish, an eHow Contributing Writer

If you run a Windows or Mac server that multiple computers connect to, then you can install a network printer on the server computer. Once the printer has been added to the server, the other systems that connect to the server will also be able to print to it over the Internet.

Things You’ll Need:

PC server running Windows 2003 or Mac server running Mac OS X Server
Networked printer

PC Instructions

Make sure the networked printer is turned on and connect to the Internet using an Ethernet cable.

Click “Start” on the server computer and click the “Printers and Faxes” icon.

Click “Add a Printer” on the left side of the window.

Choose “A Network Printer” from the pop-up window, and click “Next.”

Type in the exact location or Internet Protocol (IP) address of the networked printer, and then click “Next.”

Select the printer manufacturer and model from the list of driver options. Click “Finish” to complete the printer installation process.

Mac Instructions

Open “System Preferences” by clicking on the icon in the Dock.

Go to the “Print & Fax” control panel underneath the Hardware heading.

Click on the “+” symbol on the left side of the window.

Go to the “IP” tab at the top of the window and type in the IP address of the network printer.

Choose the correct printer model from the “Print Using” drop-down menu and click “Add” to finish installing the network printer.

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How to Print on Dot Matrix Printer

By Ellis Davidson, eHow Contributor

Dot matrix printers are an older printer technology, but they are still used today for special functions. Dot matrix printers are a kind of impact printer, which can be used to print on specially stacked carbon paper, creating multiple copies simultaneously. Higher-end models also provide very high speed printing, faster than what is available from inkjet or similarly priced laser printers.


 Moderately Easy


    • Select a dot matrix printer that has connectors that are also available on your computer. Many dot matrix printers use older serial or parallel connections, which may not be included in newer computers. It will be much easier for you to connect a dot matrix printer to your computer, if you use or purchase a model that has USB connections.

    • Connect your dot matrix printer to your computer, using the included cabling. Plug one end of the cable into the dot matrix printer, and the other into the appropriate port on your computer. Do not force the cable. If it does not fit properly, it may be the wrong port for that cable.

    • Install the drivers for the dot matrix printer onto your computer. If these are not on a disc included with the printer, the drivers are usually available on the manufacturer’s website. (While computers come with many printer drivers installed, dot matrix printers are typically not included.) The drivers will come with an installer application. Launch the application from the disc, or from the downloaded files, and the installer will walk you through the process.

    • Print to your dot matrix printer from any application. If several printers are available to your computer, in the printer dialog box, make sure that you have selected the dot matrix printer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before purchasing a dot matrix printer, check the manufacturer’s website to ensure that drivers for your computer and operating system are available.

How to Maintain an Inkjet Printers

By an eHow Contributor

Just like any other computer peripheral, you’ll want to perform some routine maintenance operations on your inkjet printer to maintain print quality and prolong its life. Here are a few quick measures to take to help maintain an inkjet printer.


 Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need

  • Inkjet printer
    • Replace ink tanks. Your computer will let you know when you are running low on ink. Keep printing as normal, but have a spare tank on hand for the corresponding color. Wait until the tank is empty before you replace the tank.
    • Check nozzles. This can be done by running a self-test (see manual) or through your computer.

      For Windows, click Start | Control Panel | Printers and then right click your printer and select properties. Select the maintenance tab and choose nozzle test.

      For Macintosh, from any program that prints select File | Page Setup then click “Utilities” and select “Test print” from the drop down menu. Click “Nozzle Test.” On the test page, look for unevenness in color or missing lines. These indicate that the print heads need cleaning or alignment.

    • Clean print heads. Access the printer maintenance page as in step 2 and select the “Cleaning” option.

    • Align print heads. Access the printer maintenance page and select the option for “Print head alignment.”

    • Manually clean the printer. Make sure the printer is unplugged. Open the printer and use a dry lint-free cloth to gently wipe away any accumulated dust or stray drops of ink.

    • Update drivers. If your printer is a bit older than your computer you may need to check for driver updates or patches. Visit the manufacturer’s Web site and look on the tech support page for any relevant downloads.

    • Clear paper jams. It should be obvious if you have a paper jam (your printer won’t print). Always refer to the manual for the safest method of clearing jams. In general, be gentle and access the areas easily reachable by lifting a cover or removing a panel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure you install the correct cartridges–write down your model number and ask for help at the store.
  • All operations require the printer to be properly loaded with paper.
  • Always check the manual for specific maintenance instructions.
  • Never use solvents or cleaners while wiping down the printer.
  • Print head cleaning and alignment takes a lot of ink, so only do it when necessary.

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Facts About Recycling Toner Cartridges

Written By Maria Tussing, eHow Contributor.


Toner cartridges can make up a large part of an office supply budget, and contribute significantly to office waste. Recycling toner cartridges and using recycled toner cartridges can address both of these issues. Many states, have guidelines in place regarding the disposal and purchase of toner cartridges. Some, including California, require that a certain percentage of toner cartridges meet standards for recycled content.

  1. Components

    • Toner cartridges weigh about three pounds and are made up of 40 percent plastic, 40 percent metal and 20 percent foam, paper, rubber and toner. Cartridges aren’t recycled like many other products, which are melted or otherwise changed to create new products. Toner cartridges are reconditioned and refilled. Up to 97 percent of the components of a toner cartridge can be recycled.


    • When the recycling of toner cartridges began, companies used a “drill and fill” method. This involved drilling a hole in the cartridge and refilling it, without regard for the condition of the cartridge. This led to ink leaks and damage to printers, earning recycled cartridges a bad reputation.

    Quality Control

    • Recycled toner cartridges are now generally as high-quality as new toner cartridges. When the cartridges are recycled, they are disassembled and inspected, and any worn or damaged parts are replaced. All parts are thoroughly cleaned and the cartridge is filled with new toner before it is sealed and packaged for resale. Before buying a recycled printer cartridge, make sure it is produced by a reputable company and meets the specifications for remanufactured cartridges.

      Some printer makers recommend not using recycled cartridges in their machines. Some of these manufacturers void the warranty on the printer or copier for damage caused by any cartridges other than the new ones recommended by the manufacturer.


    • Recycled toner cartridges run 30 to 50 percent less expensive than new cartridges. This cost reduction comes from not having to buy and work with the raw materials for the cartridge. The cost savings are passed on to the consumer. This has added up to huge savings for large companies and state governments that have switched to recycled cartridges.


    • Every year, millions of toner cartridges are dumped into landfills or incinerated. Since they can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, according to Green California, these cartridges can add up to a huge burden for landfills. Most cartridges can be reused up to four times, so recycling even one cartridge may save four cartridges from ending up in a landfill. The environmental impact is not limited to the landfills. It takes about three quarts of oil to make one toner cartridge, so by reusing the cartridges, consumers reduce oil consumption too.

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How to Install Printers Without the Software

By eHow Contributor

It can be very frustrating when you’ve just acquired a new printer from a friend, a garage sale, or some other source and you get it home intending to install it and there isn’t any software! You come to realize that you don’t have the driver disk required for the printer.

Not having the software doesn’t have to be a problem however, just follow these simple steps for printer installation and you’ll be printing in no time!





Things You’ll Need

  • Printer without the software
    • 1

      To start the printer installation, you will first need to connect the computer to the printer device. Make sure that they are firmly connected.

    • 2

      Turn on your computer and after it has booted and finished the start-up procedure, turn on the printer.

    • 3

      Select the “Start” menu and then select “Settings”.

    • 4

      Then select “Printers and Faxes”.

    • 5

      Next select the option “Add a Printer”.

    • 6

      When the printer Wizard starts up, select “Next” and let the computer “detect plug and play printer”.

    • 7

      If your computer cannot find the appropriate driver then choose the appropriate printer port (probably USB), and then choose the manufacturer of the printer.

    • 8

      Finally, select the network printer model from the drop-down list and click “Next”. If the printer device was not in the list or for some reason the driver was not available on the system, you can always visit the manufacturer website and download the installation CD from them.

Tips & Warnings

  • Installing a network printer without the software is also simple.
  • Most any modern printer drivers (network, laser, etc.) should be available from the manufacturer.
  • If the printer is a combination device (printer/fax/copier) and you want to use all the features, you may need to download the application software from the manufacturer.

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