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.

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