How to Print from the Windows 8 Desktop - dummies

How to Print from the Windows 8 Desktop

By Andy Rathbone

Built for power and control, the Windows 8 desktop offers much more control than the Start Screen over printing your work. But that power and control often mean wading through a sea of options.

When working from the desktop, Windows 8 shuttles your work off to the printer in any of a half-dozen different ways. Chances are good that you’ll be using these methods most often:

  • Choose Print from your program’s File menu.

  • Click the program’s Print icon, usually a tiny printer.

  • Right-click your document icon and choose Print.

  • Click the Print button on a program’s toolbar.

  • Drag and drop a document’s icon onto your printer’s icon.


If a dialog box appears, click the OK or Print button, and Windows 8 immediately begins sending your pages to the printer. Take a minute or so to refresh your coffee. If the printer is turned on (and still has paper and ink), Windows handles everything automatically, printing in the background while you do other things.

If the printed pages don’t look quite right — perhaps the information doesn’t fit on the paper correctly or it looks faded — then you need to fiddle around with the print settings or perhaps change the paper quality.

  • If you stumble upon a particularly helpful page in the Windows Help system, right-click inside the topic or page and choose Print. (Or click the page’s Print icon if you spot one.) Windows prints a copy for you to tape to your wall or stick in this book.

  • For quick-‘n’-easy access to your printer, add a printer shortcut to your desktop: Right-click the desktop’s bottommost-left corner and choose Control Panel from the pop-up menu. From the Hardware and Sound category, choose View Devices and Printers. Finally, right-click your printer’s icon and choose Create Shortcut. An icon for your printer appears on the desktop. To print a file, drag and drop its icon onto your printer’s new desktop shortcut.


  • To print a bunch of documents quickly, select all their icons. Then right-click the selected icons and choose Print. Windows 8 quickly shuttles all of them to the printer, where they emerge on paper, one after the other.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.