A printer is a device that can be connected to a computer in order to print information held on the computer onto paper. It is an essential component of many home and office computers, and it can be used to print text, images and even 3D objects.

Several types of printers are used to print documents today, and it is important to choose the right one for your needs. These include:

Laser printers

A laser printer uses a beam of light to attract and direct toner onto a sheet of paper. It can produce high-quality prints at a fast pace and is ideal for professional or business use.

Inkjet printers

A liquid inkjet printer uses a jet of ink that is sprayed at the paper or directly deposited onto it, like a spray-on paint. They are usually inexpensive to buy and easy to use.

Photo printers

A photo printer uses ink and special paper to print photographs on a regular basis, typically for businesses or personal use. They are often more expensive than inkjet printers, but they can provide very high-quality prints for a reasonable price.

Dot matrix printers

A dot matrix printer is a relatively inexpensive and simple impact printer that prints a line of text at a time. They are not common for printing photographs or artwork, but they are useful for quick, low-volume printing of text-heavy documents.

Line printers

A line printer is a simple impact printer that prints a single line of text at a time. These are very cheap and easy to use, but they are not ideal for printing photographs or artwork, as the lines may be fuzzy or smear.

Non-impact printers

A non-impact printer produces a single, full-color or black-and-white document on a single sheet of paper. It is the most common form of printer for business and personal use, and can be either laser or inkjet.


Invented by Bavarian author Aloys Senefelder in 1796, lithography uses an image on a smooth surface that is covered with a photosensitive emulsion and exposed to ultraviolet light. The resulting negative image can be printed on paper or other materials using an offset method.

Offset lithography

A type of lithography that employs an image carrier repulsion process, offset printing is a widely used printing technique. It is based on the same principle as a lithography plate, but a flexible aluminum, polyester or mylar plate replaces a stone tablet.

This technique is not only inexpensive, but also environmentally friendly, as the non-printing areas are left untouched.

The non-printing areas of the image carrier are made of a material that attracts a film of water to keep them ink-free. This helps to reduce the environmental impact of a large printing job, and it can also save money by reducing the amount of ink required.

Postscript support

Printers today often come from the factory with or can be loaded with postscript support, which lets you print an entire file from a command sequence that begins with an escape key. This is an important feature for users who are working on multi-page documents, as it helps eliminate the need to manually enter every page of a document.