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When you go into Printer Properties (e.g. from the Control Panel), there is a button called 'Preferences' on the 'General' tab and another button called 'Printing Defaults' on the 'Advanced' tab.

They both open similar dialogue boxes which give options to set, for example, Paper Size, but the values can be different.

What is the difference between these two options?

Note, this is accessing the printer directly via the Control Panel - nothing is being printed.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The Printing Preferences found on the General tab (and also right click printer > Printing Preferences) are the current user's personal default printing settings.

The Printing Defaults found on the Advanced tab are for configuring the default settings provided to any new users who connect to the printer. Note that to configure this you need to have the Manage Printers permission on your user account.

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Makes sense now. Thanks – sgmoore May 11 '11 at 10:08

In addition, changes made by a user to their Printing Preferences, will supersede the Printing Defaults settings.

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