You know the routine- you want one little part of a web page printed, and the printer spews out 42 pages of JUNK…and you can’t make it stop…AAAGHHHH!!! The last time it happened to my husband, he finally unplugged Everything!!
Turning off the printer doesn’t work; The computer patiently saves those documents in the print queue until the next time the printer is available. For this reason, most of the time, even rebooting the computer doesn’t work!
Here’s how to fix it. On the bar that runs across the bottom of your screen, (Called the Taskbar) close to your clock, There should be an icon that looks like a printer. If you have more than one icon that looks like a printer, hover the mouse over each one. The one that says something like, “X document(s) pending for default”, is the right one. (It’s also the one that only appears when there is something to print!)
Double-click on that icon and you will get a window with the name of the printer, and a list of print jobs either pending or printing.
If you want to stop ALL printing, go to the “printer” menu and click on “purge print documents”.
If you want to stop a particular print job, locate it in the list, highlight it with a mouse click, click the “Document” menu, and click “Pause Printing” or “Cancel Printing”
To stop this from happening in the first place, always print from the “File” menu on your program. Unlike the handy button on most programs, this will bring up a dialog box that gives you options- The most important being “Print Range”. From here, you can choose to print all, or only the pages you want. “Selection” means you will only print what you have highlighted beforehand by holding the left mouse button and dragging the mouse over what you want to print.
To figure out which pages you want to print if it’s not obvious, use the “Print Preview” selection on the “File” menu. You should probably do that anyway, because some things (Mostly web pages) don’t look the same printed as they do on screen.
On the other hand, if you click “Print”, and nothing happens, don’t just click the button again and again. Doing this puts multiple copies of the document in the queue, and you’ll really be upset when the printer starts working again! Make sure the printer is on and ready. If that doesn’t work, power down the printer, restart the computer, turn the printer back on, printing should start.
In rare cases, a document might become “Stuck” in the printer queue. Fortunately, there’s an app for that! Download it here, run it, and in 30 seconds, your stuck queue should be gone!
If you’re tired of wanting to print a web page, and getting everything including the kitchen sink, use Printliminator. This is a really nifty “Bookmarklet” (a bookmark that does more than just open a new page). Just drag the button up onto your bookmarks (Favorites, in Internet Explorer) bar, and clicking on it will give you the ability to delete with one click anything on that page you don’t want to print! Try it out, it will save you a lot of paper, ink, and frustration.
If all else fails, Defenestrate your computer!