Advanced Printer Configuration in XP

Before you start

Objectives: learn how to use multiple printer objects which point to the same print device in order to provide different level of access to the same physical printer.

Prerequisites: no prerequisites.

Key terms: printer, user, object, priority, advanced, device, different, physical, security,

Available Options

In the Advanced tab of our printer properties we have a lot of options that we can configure. We can control when the printer is available, priorities and other settings. In priorities, 1 is the lowest and 99 is the highest setting. Each printer that we create can have a different set of permissions established on. That means that different users or group of users can use different printers. That way we can control how and when they are allowed to print. For example, we can create one printer (printer object) which will have the priority of 1, another which will have the priority of 50, and another which will have the priority of 99. All that printers will point to the same print device, but we will give rights for our important users to print trough the printer which has the highest priority, and our less important users to print trough a printer which has lower priority. That way our important users will always print first. Another option we have is to create one printer object which is controlling multiple print devices. In this case, as jobs come into that printer object it will check our print devices to see which one is available to do the actual print job. If the first printer is busy, the print job will be redirected to the the second print device. There is no notification of which print device is actually used, so it is a good idea to keep those print devices together so that users can easily find their documents.

Multiple Printer Objects

We can use multiple logical printer objects to represent a single physical printer. We can use this approach to provide different levels of access to the same physical printer. In our case we have several printers attached to our computers.

 Attached Printers

Image 258.1 – Attached Printers

Let’s say that we have to enable that managers can always print first on our shared printer in our company. Let’s take a look at the properties of our Alps MD-1000 (MS) printer object. We have already shared it along with default security settings.

Alps Shared

Image 258.2 – Alps Printer Shared

Alps Security

Image 258.3 – Alps Permissions

The first step in configuring the solution is to create a second printer object. Let’s click on “Add a printer” option from the menu on the left, in the Printers and Faxes windows. The Add Printer Wizard will appear. Let’s click Next.

 Printer Wizard

Image 258.4 – Add Printer Wizard

We will install local printer. Click Next.

 Local Printer

Image 258.5 – Local Printer Option

We will use the parallel port. This is the port on which our physical printer is attached to. Click Next.

 Parallel Port

Image 258.6 – Parallel Port

We have to select the appropriate drivers. Click Next.


Image 258.7 – Drivers

We have already installed printer object with these drivers before. We will keep existing drivers. Click Next.

 Existing Drivers

Image 258.8 – Existing Drivers

We will rename our printer to “Alps MD-1000 (MS) – Managers”. Click Next.

 Printer Name

Image 258.9 – Printer Name

We will rename our share name to “AlpsMD-Managers”. This name is to long for MS-DOS workstations, so they will not be able to access this printer over the network. This is OK since we don’t have MS-DOS workstations on our network. Click Next (then Yes in our case).

 Share Name

Image 258.10 – Share Name

Share Name Warning

Image 258.11 – Warning

Here we can enter location information and comments. Click Next.

Location And Comments

Image 258.12 – Location and Comments

We will not print a test page in our case. Click Next and then Finish.

 Test Page

Image 258.13 – Test Page

As we can see, our new printer object is now installed.

 Printer Installed

Image 258.14 – Printer Added

At this point printer interface is pointing to the same physical print device. Now we need to edit the permissions for the managers printer. Let’s right-click “Alps MD-1000 (MS) – Managers”, go to Properties, and select the Security tab.

 Default Security

Image 258.15 – Default Security

Let’s remove the Power Users and Everyone group and add the Managers group. Click Apply.

 Managers Group

Image 258.16 – Managers Group

Managers are now able to print to this printer, and general users are not. Now, let’s go to the Advanced tab. By default, this printer will be configured with the priority of 1. Let’s increase the priority of this printer object to 99 so that our managers can print before other users. Click OK.

 Priority Is 99

Image 258.17 – Priority Changed

Now we have two printers with different priorities. As you probably noticed, only administrators and managers can connect to the “Alps MD-1000 (MS) – Managers”, because we have set strict security settings. All other users can connect to other printer object named “Alps MD-1000 (MS)”.


We can use multiple logical printer objects to represent a single physical printer. We can use this approach to provide different levels of access to the same physical printer. Both printer objects mentioned in this article point to the same physical device but the managers print jobs will print first because of higher priority.