Set the default printer in Windows Vista
All programs running under Windows Vista will, by default, print their content to the printer you have set as default. When you have access only one printer, Windows Vista will automatically make it the default printer. However, as you connect more printers to your computer, have access to additional network printers, or install software that can act as print driver (like Adobe Acrobat for PDF printing), you may want to explicitly set the default printer for Windows Vista. You will still be able to print to any other printer or print driver you like, but the default printer will automatically be selected for you in the current application's "Print dialog" (the window that opens when you are about to print a document). This tutorial explains how to set the default printer in Windows Vista.
Set a printer as the default printer in Windows Vista
To view all the printers Windows Vista has detected, either directly connected to your computer, accessible through a local network, or software print drivers (like PDF), click on the Start Menu, and choose Control Panel. Then click on Hardware and Sound:
On the next screen the Control Panel displays, Printers is listed first; under the Printers section, click the Change default printer link:
Windows Vista will open a Windows Explorer window that lists all the local printers, network printers, and print drivers available to the system. Locate the printer you would like as default, and right-click on it: from the menu, choose Set as Default Printer. If the "Set as Default Printer" menu item is not visible, or grayed out, this means that the printer in question is unavailable, or cannot be set as the default printer for some other reason.
Another way to set Windows Vista's default printer is to select the printer you want, and click the Set as default button. This achieves exactly the same effect as the method described above, and sets the selected printer as default for the current user.
Determine which is Windows Vista's default printer
A quick and easy way to determine which printer is currently set as the default, look at the listing of printers: the default printer displays a green checkmark next to its icon. Again, a hardware printer or a software print driver (like PDF) can be set as the system's default printer - no problem with that.
And you are done! Setting the default printer in Windows Vista is not more difficult than this. Next time you print a document, the default printer will automatically be selected for you: