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A Guide to BeOS System Objects


AddPrinter Icon

The AddPrinter and SelectPrinter Icons
Location in the BeOS:

AddPrinter and SelectPrinter are the BeOS printer configuration (and cage match) tag team.


So you want to print a document in the BeOS, eh? Well, to solve this dilemma, this week's IconWorld story requires a tag-team answer, in the form of AddPrinter and SelectPrinter.

Now before you go off on a rant about how we should have made these two preferences one, let me tantalize you with a little note about Printer configuration in Release 4 of the BeOS.

AddPrinter and SelectPrinter are soon to retire from active duty. Their place will be taken by the offspring of a torrid, behind-the-scenes affair. Their love-child, Printers, is a more robust and intuitive manner for configuring print settings. We think you'll be pleased with the new kid on the block.

Even more interesting, every child needs a dog, and it seems Tracker and Printers have become great companions, with Tracker adopted some printer configuration abilities itself. We'll let you see what this means for yourself.

But, back to the current story of AddPrinter and SelectPrinter, which enable you to select and configure print settings for those printers supported by the BeOS, which as a reminder, are:

  1. Postscript LaserWriter-compatible printers connected via EtherTalk (EtherTalk is the AppleTalk protocol carried over Ethernet).

  2. Hewlett-Packard LaserJet (PCL3)-compatible printers connected to the parallel port on your BeBox or Intel computer.

  3. Epson Stylus (Color 800, Pro, or Pro XL) printers connected to either the parallel port or a serial port. (Note that support for Epson printers is added by running the install script found in the /boot/optional/experimental directory.)

  4. A third-party printer driver for another printer.

Now that you know that you have a supported printer, head over to AddPrinter, which presents a window of choices of installed printer drivers (if you don't see your printer there, you need to install the driver; consult the instructions that came with the printer driver). AddPrinter lets you specify a specific printer/connection combination, and add it to the list of such print devices the BeOS knows about.


Once you have added all the printers you wish to have access to in the BeOS, it's SelectPrinter's turn in the cage. SelectPrinter will present all the printers you added using AddPrinter. Select the printer you wish to choose, hit the "Select" button, and print your documents to your heart's content!

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