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Print scheduling is established by users with administrative privileges by using the printers Advanced tab, which is shown in Figure 14.10.


Figure 14.10 Advanced Tab of a Printer Properties Dialog Box

Users with administrative privileges can schedule printer availability, priority, and job priority. Print job priority only affects jobs in a printers queue, not how jobs get to a print queue. Printer priority can be used to affect how print jobs reach print queues.

Printer Availability

Printer availability can be set to make the printer always available or only available during certain times of day.

Printer Priority

Printer priority determines the likelihood that a printer is chosen relative to other printers.

When adding printers, think of physical printers as the actual printers that print documents and virtual printers as representations of physical printers. You send a document to a virtual printer on the network and that print job is printed on paper by a physical printer.

Printer priority only has an effect when it is set differently for different virtual printers that correspond to the same physical printer. Setting different printer priorities for different virtual printers that correspond to different physical printers has no effect.

A few facts about printer priority:

  • Higher numbers correspond to higher priorities, so priority 1 printers are of the lowest priority.

  • Printer priority has no effect on job priority, so multiple jobs sent to the same virtual printer are affected by their job priority, but not by the printers priority. Job priority can be set by viewing the properties of a job in a print queue, whereas print priority is set using the Priority field on the Advanced tab of a printers property page.

  • Printer priority is only evaluated when determining which job to complete next. A printer does not stop processing a job it is already working on, even when the spooler receives a higher priority job, directed to a higher priority printer on the same port.

To set printer priorities for multiple virtual printers

  1. Add a virtual printer using a specific port. For more information about how to add printers, see Windows 2000 Professional Help.

  2. Repeat the process of adding virtual printers by using different names for the same physical printer until you have as many virtual printers as you need to accommodate your print prioritization needs.

  3. Right-click a printer, click Properties , and set a Priority value. A greater priority value means that printer has higher, not lower priority. Repeat as necessary for other virtual printers that correspond to the same physical printer.

  4. Using Computer Management , establish discrete groups to which you intend to add users, and associate with a printer. For more information about how to add groups, see Windows 2000 Professional Help.

  5. Add groups to each virtual printers Security tab and set permissions to allow specific groups to use the printer. Remember to remove other groups or disable allowing other groups to use the printer if you want to restrict access.

  6. Add users to groups that correspond with the level of printer priority you want them to have. Add users to whom you want to give priority printer access to the group with permissions to use the printer that has a higher priority. Add the users intended to have lower printer priority access to the group with access to the lower priority printer. For more information about adding users to groups, see Windows 2000 Professional Help.



When working with groups, it is typically better to remove the Everyone group from the printer rather than to deny access to the Everyone group and then add other groups with permitted users. This is because the Deny setting overrides any Allow settings. Therefore, if a user is a member of both the Everyone group, which is denied access to a printer, as well as the printer group you have designated allowed to use the printer, the Deny setting overrides the Allow setting.

When users install printers, they can do so based on their group membership, ensuring that the right users have the right level of priority access to printers.

To set printer priority

  1. Open Printers , right-click the printer whose priority you want to set, and then click Properties .

  2. Enter a number in the Priority field in the Advanced tab of the printers Property page.
    To set printer priority, you must have Manage Printer permissions for the printer in question.

Job Priority

Job Priority is set in the print queue and determines the priority for a particular document. After a job is printing, it is not affected by other higher priority print jobs, but when a printer finishes printing a job, it first chooses the job with the highest priority and then the job submitted first.

Consider the set of jobs that you might find in a printers queue shown in Table 14.6.

Table 14.6 Sample Jobs in a Print Queue



















Assuming no other jobs are submitted, and no one changes the priority of their jobs, these jobs would be handled in the order shown in Table 14.7.

Table 14.7 Order in Which Jobs in Table 14.6 Are Printed



Job 1

It is in the process of printing.

Job 5

It has the highest priority

Job 2

Of the jobs of priority 10, it has been waiting the longest.

Job 4

It has the highest priority of any job remaining.

Job 3

It is the only remaining job, and it has the lowest priority.

To set job priority on an existing print job

  1. Open the print queue.

  2. Double-click the job whose priority you want to set.

  3. On the General tab, move the Priority slider to set the job priority.

Scheduling Faxes

You can configure your fax service to only send fax jobs at specific times, such as when lower phone rates apply. To learn how to configure your Fax Service to your specific discount periods, see Configuring Fax Service Configuration earlier in this chapter.