Monday, January 08, 2007

Johnny "Print-Server" saves the day

Since I started working at the "liberry" in 2001, every coupleathree months, or so, one of our computer patrons prances up to the circ-desk, asks for the prints they just made from their computer and then deposits a square brick of poop into their undies when we pass over the half ream of paper they printed.

"But I didn't print this much," they invariably say. And we always know what will follow... "I just wanted to print that one little paragraph."

"Uh huh," we say. And, again, we know what will follow, for this is the point at which they tell us that they highlighted the one little paragraph of text they wanted to print on the massive website they wanted to print from and then hit print, honestly expecting that only the one little paragraph would print.

The last time this happened, I was finally fed up with it.

"Yeah," I said, "people keep telling us that highlighting and hitting print works, but I have never—NeHeHEHHHHVER—actually known it to. It prints the entire website EVERY single time."

"Oh. But I was told..."


That's when a separate and unrelated patron, who happened to wander in and overhear this transaction, stepped over and said, "Did you set the print range to SELECTED?"

"Um. What?"

The eavesdropping patron then explained something I'd never heard before: when you only want to print only your highlighted text, you have to go FILE > PRINT > and within the PAGE RANGE part of the print menu, click the dot by SELECTED. Then and only then will it print exclusively your highlighted selection.

"Huh. I did not know that," I said. "Thanks, Wandering, Eavesdropping Print-Advisor!" Okay, I didn't say that last part, but I was thinking it.

This, of course, won't put a stop to the problem at hand of patrons printing entire websites when they only wanted a sentence, but at least when they complain about doing so, I'll now know precisely how to convey how much it is still their their fault.

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An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.