Save time switching printer settings in Windows

Most printers support a wide array of options for paper tray, page size, page orientation, half-toning, print optimization, and so on. Although the Printers folder interface makes it relatively easy to change printer settings for your Windows  system when needed, it can be a time-consuming bother when you’re in a hurry, particularly if you switch printer settings often.

The easy solution is to configure multiple printer instances for the same physical printer, each with its own settings. Give the printer instance a name indicating its function, like “LaserJet Landscape Top Tray,” to make it easy to determine which one you want to use. Then, just pick the printer instance by name in the application’s Print dialog.

To add and configure a printer instance, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Printers folder and run the Add Printer Wizard to install the printer a second time. When asked if you want to keep the existing driver files or install new ones, keep the existing files.
  2. Right-click the newly installed instance and choose Properties.
  3. Configure the printer’s settings as desired, including assigning a descriptive name, then close the Properties sheet.
  4. Repeat the process to add other instances as needed, configuring their settings as required.
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