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Re-setting default printer

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W. Ernst Eder
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Post Posted August 24th, 2008, 9:57 am

I have recently changed printers for Thunderbird (HP LaserJet 1020 now, was HP LaserJet 1100). Thunderbird does not automatically recognize the change. How do I change the default printer in Thunderbird?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted August 24th, 2008, 7:43 pm

I don't think Thunderbird lets you set a default printer, it defaults to whatever the system is configured to use as the default printer.

Do other applications see the new printer as the default printer/queue? Normally I'd expect you just have to reboot after changing printers to have applications automatically get the right information about what printers are available, and which one is the default.

Can you print it using Thunderbird even if it doesn't default to that printer? The print button in the print preview window for example brings up a print dialog box where you can chose the appropiate printer etc.

hendrixlives
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Post Posted August 25th, 2008, 5:56 am

Thunderbird may have it's own default printer. To change that:

1- Open Thunderbird.
2- Go to Tools -> Options.
3- Click on Advanced, and go to General tab. On the bottom, click on Config Editor (Be carefull making changes here!!!).
4- Scroll down (or use the filter) and locate the entry print.print_printer. If there isn't such entry, then your problem is somewhere else.
5- Right click on that entry and choose reset. (again, be carefull, don't change anything else!!!)
6- Close Thunderbird
7- Make sure you have the right printer set as default on your system.
8- Reopen Thunderbird, and your printer should be ok.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted August 25th, 2008, 6:04 pm

print.print_printer isn't defined in my copy of Thunderbird, and http://kb.mozillazine.org/Problems_printing_web_pages (which mentions it) is for browsers. I couldn't find any reference to print.print_printer using the cross-reference for the mail sources (http://mxr.mozilla.org/thunderbird/)

Could you elaborate on why you believe its supported?

bkennelly
 
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Post Posted August 25th, 2008, 7:21 pm

I can vouch for it. I have had to reset that preference to fix printer problems in Thunderbird.
You can find it here: http://mxr.mozilla.org/thunderbird/sour ... pl.cpp#107

tanstaafl
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Post Posted August 25th, 2008, 11:29 pm

Thanks. I had searched for print.print_printer and it had found nothing, but when I searched for print_printer it found it at the location you posted. Oh well, live and learn :)

print.print_printer isn't listed in http://kb.mozillazine.org/About:config_entries#Print..2A . I notice the sources list a couple others such as print_scaling that also aren't documented. My copy of Firefox doesn't have print.print_scaling but does have a print.printer_HP_DeskJet_970Cse.print_scaling and a print.printer_Microsoft_XPS_Document_Writer.print_scaling, both of which include the name of my two defined printers.

I notice a comment starting at line 243 "This will either read in the generic prefs (not specific to a printer) or read the prefs in using the printer name to qualify. It is either "print.attr_name" or "print.printer_HPLasr5.attr_name". Its not clear what actually determines whether or not that function is called with the printer name (yes, I noticed the helper function nsPrintOptions::GetPrefName).

In my Thunderbird configuration should I be seeing print.print_printer , print.printer_HP_DeskJet_970Cse_printer and print.printer_Microsoft_XPS_Document_Writer_printer, or all three?

bkennelly
 
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Post Posted August 26th, 2008, 7:08 am

As I understand it, print.print_printer is not supposed to get set permanently in current releases. I seem to remember a fix that hit this preference a while back.

Lestrem
 
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Post Posted January 17th, 2010, 1:53 pm

tanstaafl wrote:I don't think Thunderbird lets you set a default printer, it defaults to whatever the system is configured to use as the default printer.

Do other applications see the new printer as the default printer/queue? Normally I'd expect you just have to reboot after changing printers to have applications automatically get the right information about what printers are available, and which one is the default.

Can you print it using Thunderbird even if it doesn't default to that printer? The print button in the print preview window for example brings up a print dialog box where you can chose the appropiate printer etc.


Now this was really useful. I'd been thinking about and looking for, some switch to flip, or some setting in Thunderbird to change. Comes down to the Windows setting. I'm using XP, by the way.
Good effort tanstaafl.
Wynn

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Post Posted January 17th, 2010, 2:05 pm

Windows controls default printers. If you open up the Faxes and Printers section of the Control Panel, you should see all of your devices as icons. The one with the check mark in the black circle is your default. Simply right-click on the printer you want to be your default and select Set to Default. This change may take place automatically, or it may require a restart to take full effect. The Printer manager can be buggy and sometimes requires the complete removal (uninstall) of unused printers if they used to be the default. If you are on a network, this may require adminstrator approval.
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Sindy
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Post Posted September 8th, 2010, 6:43 pm

hendrixlives wrote:Thunderbird may have it's own default printer. To change that:

1- Open Thunderbird.
2- Go to Tools -> Options.
3- Click on Advanced, and go to General tab. On the bottom, click on Config Editor (Be carefull making changes here!!!).
4- Scroll down (or use the filter) and locate the entry print.print_printer. If there isn't such entry, then your problem is somewhere else.
5- Right click on that entry and choose reset. (again, be carefull, don't change anything else!!!)
6- Close Thunderbird
7- Make sure you have the right printer set as default on your system.
8- Reopen Thunderbird, and your printer should be ok.



Thank you thank you thank you!!!! This simple trick fixed a problem thats been nagging at me for awhile.

I bought a new printer recently and couldn't get thunderbird to default to it. All my other apps could. Even deleting and re-adding the old printer didnt help. This was a particular problem as the old printer was on a slow computer over the network so Tbird would be frozen for about a minute every time i tried to print.

Thanks again for this fix.

(using lastest tbird 3.1.3 on vista sp2 -- the older printer was an hp, wonder if its installer set that setting somehow???)

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