Spooling in Printers: How it Works, Benefits & Other Options Considered

Spooling in Printers

Spooling which is an acronym for simultaneous peripheral operations on-line, refers to placing jobs in a buffer, in a special memory area or on a disk where a computer can access them when it is ready. Since machines access data at different rates, spooling is useful. The buffer provides a waiting station where, while the slower system catches up, data can pause.

Spooling in Printers

Print spooling is the most common method for Spooling that is in Printers. Documents are loaded into a buffer (usually a region on a disk) during print spooling, and then the printer pulls them off the buffer at its own time. Because the papers are in a buffer where the printer can reach them, you can do other programming operations while the printing takes place in the background. Spooling also allows you to place a number of print jobs in a queue, rather than waiting for each to finish before deciding the next.

Printers have a small amount of memory, sometimes a lot less than the size of a paper you want to print. Printer spooling or Spooling in Printers allows you to submit large documents, or several documents, to a printer and don’t have to wait for it to finish printing before moving to your next job.

How Does Spooling Work?

How Does Spooling Work?

Data is sent to and stored in volatile storage. Compared to the rest of the PC, printers have a very small memory. Spooling works like the requests in a queue. It follows the FIFO format which stands for first in first out. Spool can be maintained on either the peripheral devices itself or on PC’s memory. Printers are not the only peripheral devices that use the spooling mechanism. Other devices like keyboards and mice can also use it.

Why is Spooling Important?

Spooling is a mechanism that manages the printing process. It becomes all the more important if different computers are connected to the printer. It makes networking less problematic as it tracks which devices are connected to which port and regulating the printing jobs of various computers.

Benefits of Spooling

Printer spooling or Spooling in Printers is more important than you might think. Here are some of its benefits.

1. Schedule Printing

Spooling in Printers manages your printing process. It schedules the data for printing and lines it up for the printer. You can check your print queue in Windows

2. Enhance Efficiency

Spooling enhance the efficiency of your printer. The data is organized, and there are fewer chances of system being congested.

3. Does Not Put Your Application on Hold

Printing may take time. Especially if multiple computers are connected to the printer. Printing data is stored in the spooling, and it does not have to engage your application. Your system is free, and you can carry on working on other applications after giving the command of printing.

4. You Can Pause or Edit the Document in Spool

While documents are lined up for printing, you can pause the documents or cancel it if you no longer need to print it. It will save your ink and time. You can change the order of printing too, putting the document higher or lower place in line.

5. Time-Saving

Without spooling, you will have to wait for the printer to finish printing one page before you move on to the next page.

Considerations

Considerations

While most operating systems come included with print spooling, they can be installed manually if you don’t have one available. Most of us use Windows which already has one set up by default. You’ll probably never even need to access it or give it a thought. However, in some scenarios, you may want to turn it off completely.

To turn off the spooler on Windows, simply open the Task Manager and click the “services” tab. From here, scroll down the alphabetical list of services and you’ll see “Spooler” show up about 3/4 of the way down. Right-click it to see a window that shows “Start, Stop, Restart, Open Services, Search Online, Go to Details”. From here, you can manually do whatever you please. But keep in mind, spooling is typically always better to have turned on than turned off. It may impede your ability to print faster by slowing it down considerably.

Other Options

There are typically two ways to go about spooling. You can make your printer print immediately or after the last page is spooled. Obviously, printing immediately will be the fastest and most preferred option. However, you can set it so that it starts printing after the last page is spooled. By doing this, you can setup a queue of low-priority documents and then set certain documents as a high priority – no matter which initial order you sent them to the printer.

In addition, some may opt to keep the printed documents in the spooler so that once they’re printed, you can access them again. This could come in handy if you know there’s a possibility that you’ll want to print the same files again for a second time. It’ll enable to to resubmit them afterwards so you can quickly make additional prints when the time comes. It’s quite important that you realize that keeping spooled documents will ultimately use disk space. Keep in mind how much they take and make sure you’re not piling up too many documents at a time.

Can Spooling Slow Down in Your System?

Though spooling enhances printer’s performance and efficiency,  in some cases your printer may spool slow. Slow spooling can makes printers work slowly. Time is important, and in any busy office, slow spooling can be a nuisance. It will slow your whole printing process, which can be frustrating.

Few Causes of Slow Spooling

Here are a few reasons that may cause your printer to spool slow. Knowing the exact cause can help to fix that problem.

1. Low Spooling Space

If the spooling computer is low on disk space it may make spooling slow. It can also happen if your printing document is too large. In that case, it may work fast by printing directly without spooling.

2. Software That Automatically Spools

Some applications have their own spooling system. Especially programs that create large printing jobs have their own print spoolers. Double-check while you are using such applications. They can make your printer slow as after the program spools the information, and your computer also does so. In that case, you can turn off your spooling to make it work fast.

3. Large File Size

If your document is large, it may take more time spooling and printing.

When You Should Turn Off Printer Spooling?

Spooling is actually helpful in the printing process, and it can better organize and manage your printing process. But there are times when you prefer to print without spooling. You can turn off the spooling for the following reasons.

1. Need to Print in a Hurry

If you are in a hurry you can turn off the spooling and print directly. Spooling can make your printing slow, especially if you are sharing the printer with too many users. The printer will delay the printing unless the whole document has been generated and spooled. If another computer’s spooling finishes before, the printer will print the other document first.

2. Printing a Lengthy Document

As earlier stated, if you are printing a very lengthy document, you may like to print it directly without spooling. Spooling may slow the printing as the printer works after spooling the whole document, and it may cause some delays.

3. Using Special or Non-Standard Paper

If you are using a special paper that is not loaded in the printer, printing directly can be time-saving. Some printers automatically put the printing of special papers on hold so other documents are not delayed if the printer has to stop for reloading the paper.

Conclusion

Conclusion

While most individuals won’t need to adjust spooling settings on their computer, it’s important to know this terminology in case you ever notice a notification or status message reading “spooling”. In fact, it’s managed and setup automatically in most instances. However, having a clearer understanding can give you the freedom to effortlessly manage individual documents that are waiting in line to be printed.

Multi-tasking is something that all of us do. In this case, our computers handle printing requests with ease so you don’t ever really have to think about it.

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