Tech Tip: Printing Problems from Browser Window

Print troubleshooting is one of the most frustrating aspects of computing. Although printer quality and cost has become very reasonable, there’s nothing more frustrating than printer failure during a deadline for an important paper or letter.

Some good troubleshooting rules of thumb are as follows if you suddenly experience a dreaded printer FAIL:

1. If you seem to be able to print text documents but cannot print things appearing in the browser, note that some printer / browser combinations won’t allow printing from within the browser window.   For example to print a PDF file from some Lexmark printers you’ll want to download the PDF first, then open it up in Adobe and then print.    Otherwise the document may come out blank.

Still not printing?

Some printers have good diagnostics so use those first, but I find that the generic Windows help often sends me down a garden path of confusion so consider trying these ideas first:

1.  Reconnect cables and reboot both system and printer.

2.  Confirm your have the correct printer driver installed.  The driver is the small program that allows your printer to communicate with your computer.   Usually the name of your printer plus “driver” at Google will quickly take you to a driver installation routine for most major printers.

3.  Confirm you have ink in the cartridge (for ink jet printers).   The simplest way to do this is often to install a new cartridge.   If it works then you are good to go, but if it fails then ink was probably NOT your problem before.