A type of personal printer that is connected directly to a single desktop computer or laptop, a local printer typically can only be accessed by the user of the computer to which it is attached. The local printer is typically connected to the computer with a cable. It could have a USB connection (very common now) or it may connect to a parallel port or serial port (generally older printers and computers).
It is possible, with the right software and set up, to share a local printer with other users over a network. The printer becomes a network printer but it is local to the computer to which it is directly connected.
When talking about printing services rather than desktop printers, a local printer is a printing service located in your own town or within reasonable driving distance. Some desktop publishers prefer to deal with a local printer rather than sending a print job to a print shop outside their local area. A few of the pros: touring the facility, meeting face-to-face, and being able to physically see your print job on the press is preferable to working long distance. Cons of only working with local printers might include not being able to get the best possible price on the job or being limited to the type of equipment and services offered by your local print shops.
Local printers are common desktop printers, often referred to as personal printers. Non-networked local printers are typically used for personal and home-based business desktop publishing. It can be inkjet, laser, or some other type of printer. It may or may not be a PostScript-capable.
Installing and Using a Local Printer For Desktop Publishing
- How to Install a Local Printer goes through simple steps to connecting your printer cable and setting up your local printer.
- How to Share a Local Printer Over Your WLAN describes how to share the printer connected to your printer with other users in a network.
- I/O Ports on a laptop computer might include a parallel port for your printer.
- Can I get my USB printer to work on the parallel port? has answers for those who may have a USB printer they want to connect to a parallel port (often found on older computers or laptops).
- Can I get my parallel printer to work on USB? offers solutions if you have an older printer that you want to connect to your computer via a USB port.
Local printers may be used for printing drafts and final products. One advantage of a local printer over a network printer (when there are multiple other users such as a large office) is that you don't have to wait for other users jobs in the print queue or worry about scheduling your print job or alert other users before changing the paper for different print jobs.
- How to do desktop publishing and desktop printing outlines a simple 10 step tutorial that provides an overview of the desktop publishing process when you don't need to worry about the extra steps required in preparing files for commercial printing.
- How to do desktop printing from a laser or inkjet home or office printer offers tips and ideas for getting the best output from a desktop printer, whether local or on a network (like many office printers). In addition to choosing a printer and understanding how they work, there are tips on setting print options, doing a print preview, getting faster printing, and choosing paper for desktop printing.