Easily add printers without using the Add Printer Wizard

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Users often add printers using the Add Printer Wizard. While Microsoft has done a good job with this tool, walking users methodically through the required steps is cumbersome when compared with other options.

If the printer sharename is known and the system administrator has been kind enough to load drivers for a variety of operating systems, simply selecting "Start, Run" and typing in "\\servername\sharename" will put you two Enter keys away from installing a printer.

If the links are still OK in your internal e-mail, you can send the same servernamesharename string as a link in a message for users to double click.

Another option of less utility, but still better than the Wizard, is to browse to the print server and double click on the printer sharename. For large organizations with many printers on a server, using the Details view will show the Comments field for each printer, which hopefully identifies the printer location and model.

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This was first published in January 2005

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