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Windows 7 hints and tips

Changes to Printers in the Control Panel

In Windows Vista's Control Panel there is a Printers item that enables you to view the printers attached to the computer, add new printers, set the properties and so on. Windows 7 doesn't have a Printers item and instead it is called Devices and Printers.

It shows groups of items, such as Devices and Printers and Faxes. As far as printers are concerned, the new Control Panel item works just as it did before and you can set the default printer if there is more than one, and you can click the Add a printer button to install a new printer.

In addition to Printers and Faxes, you'll also see Devices too. A device might be a monitor, a USB flash memory drive, the PC itself, or anything else you plug into the computer.

What's the point? Well, if you right click a device you get a menu that is appropriate for that device. Windows 7 Printers and DevicesFor example, right click the monitor and you'll see a menu that enables you to access the display settings, create a shortcut, troubleshoot problems, and view the properties.

Right click a USB flash memory drive and the menu enables you to set the AutoPlay options, browse the files it contains, eject it (not literally - write unwritten date so you can pull it out without corrupting files), create a shortcut, trouble shoot, and view the properties.

Printers are devices, so it makes sense to put Devices and Printers together. In theory, the Control Panel item could simply be called Devices, but then people would be hunting around looking for Printers. Perhaps in the future when we've become used to the new location for printers Microsoft will just call it Devices.

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