How to Print to a Receipt Printer

By Jeff Grundy

Many accounting and point-of-sale applications support the use of standard desktop printers when printing receipts or invoices. However, receipt printers generally have a much smaller footprint and use less ink and paper than standard printers do, which means increased profit and savings for your business. Virtually all business accounting and POS applications support the use of receipt printers, and installing and printing to them is relatively simple.

Insert the installation disc for the receipt printer into the computer's optical drive. Wait a few seconds for the installation or setup wizard screen to open. When prompted, click the “Setup” or “Install Printer Driver” link in the wizard window.

Follow the prompts on the screen to install the Windows driver for the receipt printer. Close the setup wizard screen when prompted, and then remove the installation disc from the optical drive.

Log out of Windows and shut down the computer.

Connect the AC adapter to the receipt printer and plug the other end into an available electrical socket. Connect the USB, serial or parallel cable to the receipt printer and the corresponding port on the computer.

Power on the receipt printer first, then turn on the computer. Wait for the computer to boot, then log in to Windows with your administrator username and password if prompted. After you log in to Windows, the operating system automatically detects the connected receipt printer and displays a dialog box.

Click “OK” in the Install New Hardware dialog box, if prompted, to allow Windows to set up the connection and driver software for the receipt printer using the files you installed earlier from the installation disc. Depending on your Windows User Account Control settings, Windows may not prompt you with a dialog box and may install the printer driver automatically once you connect the receipt printer and switch on the computer. After installing the printer drivers, Windows displays the Start screen.

Move the mouse cursor to the upper right corner of the Windows 8 Start screen to display the Charms bar. Click “Search” on the Charms bar. Type “Control Panel” in the Search box, and then click “Control Panel” in the Navigation pane on the left side of the screen. The Control Panel window opens.

Click the “View By” drop-down list and select “Large Icons.” Scroll down to and click “Devices and Printers” in the Control Panel window.

Right-click the name of the receipt printer in the Printers section of the Devices and Printers window, and then click “Printer Properties” on the popup list.

Ensure that the receipt printer is loaded with a paper roll, and then click the “Print Test Page” button. Windows sends a test print job to the receipt printer. The printer prints the data and advances the paper roll automatically. Tear the test print page section of paper from the receipt printer. Close the Devices and Printers window, and then close Control Panel.

Open your accounting or bookkeeping application. Click “Preferences,” “Settings,” “Tools” or the equivalent option on the menu bar. Select “Printers” or “POS Hardware” from the drop-down menu.

Enable the receipt printer as the default printing device for the accounting application when printing invoices or sales receipts.

Enter sales or create invoices as you normally would in the accounting application. Click the “Print” or equivalent button to print the invoice or sales receipt on the receipt printer.

Items you will need

  • USB, parallel or serial printer cable

  • Printer driver installation disc


Most modern PCs have USB ports, but many do not have parallel or serial ports. Therefore, if you want to connect a receipt printer to a parallel or serial interface, you may need to install a parallel or serial port add-on card inside the computer. Alternatively, you could connect the receipt printer with the parallel or serial port to an older computer – most older machines have these types of ports.