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Printing files directly from Windows

From: Windows 7 Essential Training

Video: Printing files directly from Windows

When it's time to print a file, we typically open up that file in its native application and print from there. For example, an Excel spreadsheet we'll open it up in Microsoft Excel and we'll use the print functionality built into the menus of Excel. Same thing goes for a Word document. But we can save ourselves some steps by printing directly from Windows and what Windows 7 will do is temporarily launch the application to print from there to your default printer. Let's test this out with some sample files.

Printing files directly from Windows

When it's time to print a file, we typically open up that file in its native application and print from there. For example, an Excel spreadsheet we'll open it up in Microsoft Excel and we'll use the print functionality built into the menus of Excel. Same thing goes for a Word document. But we can save ourselves some steps by printing directly from Windows and what Windows 7 will do is temporarily launch the application to print from there to your default printer. Let's test this out with some sample files.

You can see I have got the 09_01 subfolder of the Chap09 folder of the Exercise Files open here. I have got two different types of files. One is a text document, the other a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. So instead of opening up maybe Notepad or WordPad, even Microsoft Word and then opening up this document called VeggieStirfry, I can print directly from Windows Explorer. With the file selected, all I need to do is either click the Print button, which appears on the toolbar. Notice the tooltip is saying it's going to be sent to the printer.

It doesn't say default printer but that's where it's going. Same thing if I click File and choose Print. So you want to be aware of your default printer. To do that, we'll go down to the Windows orb and select Devices and Printers. So here you'll find a list of all the devices connected including under the Printers and Faxes section, if you've got a fax, if you've got multiple printers, you may even see things like an XPS Document Writer, which isn't a printer at all, but rather converts your document to an XPS file that can be printed anywhere.

And you'll notice for me, I've got my HP Deskjet appearing with this green circle and the checkmark in it, meaning it is the default. So to make any printer a default printer just right-click and choose Set as Default Printer. I wanted to go back to my HP, so I am going to right-click it and choose to set it as the default printer. So once you got the correct printer selected, all you need to do is again select the file in Windows Explorer and click Print. Now you may have seen something happened very quickly on the screen.

It looked like Notepad or WordPad launched very quickly temporarily, the document was sent to the printer and then everything closed up. So I didn't have to do that. We'll see it better if we try to print our Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. So I am going to select it. This time I'll go to File and choose Print. That was very fast but our Excel did launch for a split second and my spreadsheet got sent-off to the printer. Once it was sent, everything closed up. Very fast and easy. So you can save some time by not having to open up the application, locate the file, open it up, and then print from there and then close everything down.

Print directly from Windows Explorer and you'll save yourself a number of steps.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Windows 7 Essential Training

73 video lessons · 45013 viewers

David Rivers
Author

 
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  1. 16m 28s
    1. Welcome
      1m 54s
    2. Windows basics for first-time users
      13m 47s
    3. Using the exercise files
      47s
  2. 29m 18s
    1. Assessing your hardware and Windows 7 versions
      6m 57s
    2. Upgrading from other Windows versions
      2m 56s
    3. Transferring old files with Windows Easy Transfer
      7m 2s
    4. Dealing with device drivers
      6m 42s
    5. Running a Windows XP program in Windows 7
      5m 41s
  3. 33m 12s
    1. Getting familiar with the desktop
      8m 55s
    2. Handling tasks with the improved task bar
      8m 50s
    3. Accessing your favorites quickly with jump lists
      3m 59s
    4. Finding files and programs with Windows Search
      2m 18s
    5. Using the Action Center
      3m 48s
    6. Keeping information at your fingertips with desktop gadgets
      5m 22s
  4. 34m 24s
    1. Navigating folders and their contents
      6m 59s
    2. Staying organized with your own folders
      4m 44s
    3. Choosing how your folders and user interface behave
      7m 30s
    4. Sharing and protecting folders and files
      5m 27s
    5. Simplifying organization with libraries
      3m 48s
    6. Backing up by burning to CD or DVD
      5m 56s
  5. 24m 44s
    1. Windows Media Center
      7m 22s
    2. Playing media files with Windows Media Player
      3m 59s
    3. Organizing and sharing photos in Windows Explorer
      7m 22s
    4. Taking screenshots with the Snipping tool
      6m 1s
  6. 24m 35s
    1. Taking notes with sticky notes, Notepad, and WordPad
      11m 33s
    2. Creating graphics with Paint
      4m 58s
    3. Performing simple and advanced calculations with the calculator
      5m 20s
    4. Playing Windows games
      2m 44s
  7. 33m 5s
    1. Getting under your computer's hood with the Control Panel
      5m 28s
    2. Controlling system settings
      6m 38s
    3. Controlling sound device volume settings
      6m 38s
    4. Uninstalling programs that are no longer used
      2m 42s
    5. Setting default programs
      5m 10s
    6. Exploring accessibility options
      6m 29s
  8. 21m 1s
    1. Connecting hardware with Device Stage
      2m 56s
    2. Create a home network using HomeGroup
      4m 49s
    3. Controlling what is shared on a network
      3m 26s
    4. Troubleshooting a network and HomeGroup
      3m 58s
    5. Reconnecting quickly with jump lists
      2m 18s
    6. Boosting your computer's memory with ReadyBoost
      3m 34s
  9. 31m 53s
    1. Keeping your PC secure with Windows Update
      3m 44s
    2. Battling spyware with Windows Defender
      7m 41s
    3. Controlling access with user accounts
      4m 32s
    4. Streamlining passwords in Credential Manager
      4m 38s
    5. Using parental controls to block unwanted content
      4m 49s
    6. Securing drives with BitLocker Drive Encryption
      6m 29s
  10. 15m 11s
    1. Printing files directly from Windows
      2m 48s
    2. Troubleshooting printer problems
      5m 15s
    3. Printing power tips
      3m 56s
    4. Printing to and viewing the XPS file format
      3m 12s
  11. 25m 4s
    1. Finding issues in the Troubleshooting control panel
      3m 53s
    2. Sharing issues with the Problem Steps Recorder
      3m 56s
    3. Backing up folders and drives
      6m 36s
    4. Restoring files and drives
      4m 39s
    5. Handling an entire system crash
      6m 0s
  12. 28m 23s
    1. Exploring changes to the UI
      4m 46s
    2. Access sites quickly using Favorites and History
      5m 17s
    3. Connecting to RSS feeds and web slices
      6m 1s
    4. Displaying similar sites with Suggested Sites
      2m 16s
    5. Browsing without navigating using accelerators
      6m 36s
    6. Keeping your browsing private using InPrivate Browsing and filtering
      3m 27s
  13. 1h 14m
    1. Setting up your Windows Live profile
      4m 37s
    2. Downloading Windows Live Essentials
      2m 23s
    3. Tracking dates and events with the Windows Live calendar
      7m 22s
    4. Free email with Windows Live Mail
      6m 14s
    5. Texting live with Windows Live Messenger
      7m 13s
    6. Organizing and sharing photos in Photo Gallery
      9m 46s
    7. Synchronizing photos on two computers with Live Sync
      4m 0s
    8. Controlling content and communications with Family Safety
      6m 26s
    9. Keeping a blog with Windows Live Writer
      6m 50s
    10. Accessing free online storage with SkyDrive
      4m 44s
    11. Creating a movie with Windows Live Movie Maker
      14m 46s
  14. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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