This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Colour printing on a distant printer

Want to print in colour on a printer on the top floor of the surgery? Dr Mark Smith explains how to do it without running upstairs each time

Want to print in colour on a printer on the top floor of the surgery? Dr Mark Smith explains how to do it without running upstairs each time

Q: How can I print a colour document on the office colour laser printer upstairs?

A: Now that we all have Ethernet computer networks it is possible to share hardware – even if it is upstairs in somebody else's office.

Sometimes you might want to print a document from the internet or a new protocol that you have been emailed by the PCT. It won't look so good in black and white so you want to use your secretary's colour printer that can print on both sides. If the printer you want to use is network capable and plugged in to an Ethernet port of its own, this is very easy without running upstairs every time with a disk or USB stick.

First, just make sure the printer has been set up to be shared on the network. At the PC that was used to set up the printer in the first place, go to 'Windows', 'start', 'settings', 'printers and faxes'. Right-click on the printer you want to share and then left-click 'sharing' to allow that printer to be used by other people.Then on your own PC back in your own room, follow the above instructions to get to the printer folder and on the left-hand side click 'add a printer'.

Choose 'network printer', then choose browse and you should be able to find the name of the printer you want your PC to print to. Follow the instructions – possibly having to install drivers from the original disk – and you should then be able to choose that printer when you try to print a document.

Make sure you keep your usual prescription printer as your default printer otherwise your prescriptions will start appearing upstairs!If the colour printer isn't network capable but plugged directly into your secretary's PC, you can set it up in the same way – although the moment your secretary's PC is switched off or goes to sleep, the printer won't be visible on the network.When you want to print in colour, click 'file', 'print' and choose from the list of printers in the box.

You can also click the 'properties' button to the right of the list of printers to print on both sides of paper if the printer is capable of that. Another way to save paper is to choose the option of two pages (or more) on one sheet so that two pages get shrunk onto one piece of A4.

Dr Mark Smith is a GP in West Moors, Dorset

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say