How to Program a POS Printer
By Jeff Grundy
A point-of-sale system can help your business increase check-out efficiency and sales reporting dramatically. Using a POS printer with your system allows you to print invoices and receipts for customers quickly while saving on more expensive toner and paper used with standard printers. Most accounting point-of-sale applications support the use of POS printers, and some turnkey systems include one in the packaging. Even if your point-of-sale application system does not include a printer, you can generally use any 40-column receipt printer -- as long as you install and set up the printer correctly in Windows.
Configure BIOS (Parallel and Serial Printers)
Shut down the computer to which you want to connect the POS printer, and then restart it.
Press the “Delete,” “F1,” “F2” or other key needed to access the system BIOS as soon as you see the initial boot screen. If you don't know which key you need to press to access the BIOS menu, refer to the system user guide or owner’s manual for your computer.
Type the BIOS administrator password if prompted to do so, and then press the “Enter" key.
Navigate to the “Advanced,” “Advanced Configuration” or other similar option on the main BIOS menu screen, and then press the “Enter” key. Alternatively, click the appropriate menu option if the BIOS menu for your computer supports use of a mouse.
Select or click the “Onboard Devices” or “Integrated Devices” menu option on the Advanced or Advanced Configuration menu page. Scroll down to the “Serial Port” or “Parallel Port” menu option, depending on the type of printer you want to connect and install. Press the “Enter” key, and then ensure that the selected port type is set to “Enable.” If the setting reads “Disabled,” click the “Enabled” option or use the down arrow and “Enter” keys to change the value setting.
Press the “F10” key or click the “Save Changes and Exit” option on the BIOS menu screen to save the system configuration changes and restart the computer.
Connect and Install
Shut down the computer. Connect the data cable to the POS printer and the USB, serial or parallel port as needed. Connect the power adapter cord to the printer, and then plug the other end into an available electrical socket. Power on the POS printer.
Restart the computer. After booting into Windows, wait a few seconds for the operating system to detect the connected printer.
Insert the driver disc for the POS printer if Windows prompts you to do so. Depending on the model of your printer, Windows may not need to install a separate third-party driver and might be able to configure and install the device automatically. If Windows does prompt you for a driver, though, insert the disc in the optical drive of the computer and click “OK.”
Follow the remaining Windows prompts to complete the installation of the POS printer. Close the installation wizard window by clicking “Finish.”
Open your accounting or POS application. Select “Options,” “Preferences” or “Tools” on the menu bar. Look for the configuration menu option labeled “Printers,” “POS Hardware,” “Peripherals” or something similar. Click the appropriate hardware option in the POS software configuration menu.
Select the menu option labeled “Printer,” “POS Printer” or “Receipt Printer.” Ensure that the device name of the printer you connected to the computer appears in the list of available print devices. Select the name of the printer in the list, and then click “OK” or “Set as Default” if it does not already appear as the default print device for printing invoices or receipts.
Close the configuration menu window. Use the accounting or POS application to create invoices or receipts as you normally would. Click the “Print,” “Print Invoice” or “Print Receipt” button or link in the application to print the receipt on the POS printer.
Items you will need
System user guide or owner’s manual
40-column receipt printer
USB, serial or parallel cable
Printer installation disc
Ensure that you load a paper roll into the POS printer before printing.
If you don’t have the driver disc for the POS printer -- and if Windows prompts you to install one – you can download the latest driver software for the device from the manufacturer support website.
Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.