How Does an All-In-One Printer Work?

by Sarah Haynes

The All-in-One

All-in-one printers have become more and more prevalent because of their easy to use features and abilities to do multiple functions, saving the consumer the hassle of having to buy multiple machines. There are two major types of all-in-one printers: the three-in-one and the four-in-one. The three-in-one has the ability to copy, scan and print while the four-in-one adds the ability to fax on top of the other three functions. These printers can be set up to use with one computer or can be networked to be used with multiple computers. For the main computer the printer is set up to, it has a connector cord, either a USB cord or a parallel cord that connects from the printer to the back of the computer. These all-in-one printers can be used with the computer for scanning or printing and they can be used without the computer to copy or fax. When these printers are first turned on, they will display a message that they are warming up. This is to allow the ink to be warmed and for the printer to reset all its settings before it is able to be used. Once this has taken place, you can then use the printer for whichever function you wish.


To copy, simply raise the over head cover, place the sheet you wish to copy flat down onto the bed of the printer lining it up with the markers printed for reference. Close the top cover and on the side the printer has a number of options to press, such as the copy button. This will automatically begin the copy process for the printer to scan and then print a copy of the paper you placed inside it. There are other options as well for copying. There is a menu button on the side panel and when pressed it will bring up a list of options, such as resizing the document or printing multiple copies. The side panel should also have two different buttons to copy in either black and white or color.


To fax, place the sheet into the feeder top tray. Each printer is different as to which position to place the paper, whether it's face up or face down. There should be instructions listed on the printer itself as well as in the manual. Once the paper is placed, on the side panel there will be a dialing pad similar to the dialing pad of a phone. Most faxes require a 9 and a 1 to be pressed first before dialing the number including the area code to fax the sheet to. Once the number is dialed, then there will be a button to press to begin the fax. It will either be an enter button, go button or start button; each model is different. Most of these printers also have programs that can be downloaded or installed with the original installation CD for a program that can take a document that is on your computer and send the instruction to fax that document from your computers file to a number that is dialed in.


To scan, place the sheet onto the bed of the printer, lining it up with the markers on the printer and close the top cover. Open the scanning program that came with the installation CD software. Select new scan and the option for either black and white or color scan. Then press the button labeled either go, enter or scan. The printer will then scan the image and display it onto your computer screen. At that time you can either save it, rescan or open it with another program to make changes to it.


To print, first make sure the printer is installed from the installation software CD onto your computer. In the program from which you wish to print, select the file option and then the print option. A screen should appear giving you the option to select your printer and the number of copies you wish to print. Once selected, click the print button.


If any option on your all in one printer malfunctions, the best thing to do first is to turn the printer off, wait at least 30 seconds, and then turn it back it. Another common malfunction is that the printer cartridge is empty or needs to be reset. Open the printer, remove the cartridge and then replace back into its proper setting and close the clamp to hold it in and reclose the printer. Then the printer will ask to print a test sheet and will ask you to select the proper settings. Any other things that malfunction may need you to contact the manufacturer directly.

About the Author

Sarah Haynes is a bachelor's degree graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been writing articles online since 2006, specializing in a variety of categories from decorating and building furniture to using programs on cell phones. While focusing on how-to articles, she has written a few pieces that expand on subjects telling about their origins and uses.

More Articles

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera