Printing and PDF

Recently, a client wrote to ask, “What’s going on here?” The answer is easy, as is the remedy. What happens is, your computer has looked for your default printer and not finding it, has provided this alternative. Before we go fix the sleeping printer problem, let’s talk about, “Save as PDF” and the potential benefit. Suppose you are going to print an email or a recipe, something that warrants yet another bit of paperwork you will manage. If it is something you intend to keep, might it be nice to have a backup copy on your computer? Save as PDF will produce that file for you. Name it well and put it in a folder that makes sense, so you can find it again, when you need it (or, when you lose the hard copy you are about to produce.)

Now, to fix the problem with the printer, you have to make sure it is “awake” and ready to “talk” with your computer. On many modern printers, the energy saving feature lets them go into a “sleep” mode that may interrupt communications. Simply tap the screen, or maybe push the power button for a second and the printer should wake up. Having done this, the computer should recognize that it can send a print job there, but you still have one more step to do before you’ll see the “Print” button where the “Save” button is now.

print to local destinationsRight under “Save as PDF” is a button labelled, “Change.” Click that button, then click on “Manage,” under Local destination in this window and you should see your printer there. If it is not there, you may have to reboot, to get the two machines to talk to each other again.

By the way, if you choose the first option and Save as PDF, you can always print the resulting PDF file to your printer. It does give you a nice preview of what will come out of the printer. Sometimes that preview will show you something you didn’t intend to print at all! That’s a topic for another post.