How to Print off the Computer

By Judy Asman

In order to print from a computer, you need to first connect your computer to a printer. Once you do that, the steps to printing are simple and universal.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Printer
  • USB or proper cable connection
  • Operating system (Windows or Mac)

Connecting the Printer

Step 1

Connect your computer to a specific printer. Depending on the make, model and year of your computer, there will be different cords and plugs that you connect from your printer to your computer. Most newer computers use USB cables. Ask your computer sales representative which cord to use. If you want to use a wireless connection, be sure to ask what device you need to buy to enable this.

Step 2

Route to a printer from your computer. Instructions for doing this will vary depending on whether you're using the Windows or Macintosh operating system. If you're in Windows, click the Start button at the bottom left of your screen. Go to "Settings" and then "Printers." Click "Printers." Macintosh users, see "Resources" for a link to instructions.

Step 3

There will be a two-column screen. On the left, you'll see a list of folders. On the right, you'll see a list of printers. On the top, middle right, you'll see a button called "Add a Printer." Click "Add a Printer."

Step 4

On the next two screens, click "Add a Local Printer" and "Use and Existing Port: LPT1 (Printer Port)."

Step 5

A list of printers will appear, click the printer that reflects the make and model of the one to which your computer is connected.

How to Print

Step 1

Click "File" at the top left of your screen. Then click "Print." If the "Print" button is hidden, click the down arrow of the pull-down menu.

Step 2

Make sure the printer from which you want to print is selected in the top pull-down menu.

Step 3

Use the options shown in the menu to select which pages you want to print and how many copies.

Step 4

Click "OK."

Step 5

Use your keyboard shortcut to print if you don't want to use the "File" menu. Press the "CTRL" and "P" keys simultaneously or the "Option" and "P" keys if you're using a Mac.

Step 6

Use your printer icon in your toolbar if you want a one-step process for printing. Go to the very top of your screen, look for a tiny image that looks like a printer, and click it. If the correct printer is selected in your printer dialog box (see Step 2), your document will print to that printer automatically. This is an ideal option if you do not need to select specific pages or make numerous copies.

Tips & Warnings

  • To see what your document will look like before it prints, click "File" and then "Print Preview." The shortcut icon looks like a page with a magnifying glass and is usually next to the printer icon in the toolbar.