Printing Fun with Microsoft

I use Microsoft’s “Picture Manager” to edit and compress photos and “Paint” when I need to quickly print a screenshot or graphic. It’s rare that I print through these two programs, but when I do I’m astonished at how complicated it is to simply, um, PRINT!

I’m sure I’m not the first person who has blog-bitched about this, but follow along anyway: Here’s a simple one page map of the Prague subway system I wanted to print. Just hit “print”, and a few seconds later it spits out to your printer right? Wrong.

Step 1: Here’s me hitting “print”. This should be the END of my printing process. Oh no, there is much more.

Step 2: Oh goody the “Wizard” is here to help me print. I completely unnecessary dialogue box. Merlin forces me hit “next” or “cancel” for no reason. Why didn’t it just print? If I needed to cancel I can just throw my paper in the garbage.

Step 3: Select your files. Well this could be somewhat useful if printing multiple files, but generally people that do that already have them grouped together. Fine. I selected my subway map, which was already on the screen to begin with.

Step 4: Select my printer. WTF? Why doesn’t it just print to the default? If I need to route it to a color printer I can easily that via the ONE dialogue box, just like Word does. Jeez I’m actually using Word as a baseline for this?

Step 5: Select the layout. Why ANOTHER dialogue box? Couldn’t this have been grouped with #4?

Step 6: ANOTHER box to read and close. Wizard tells me I’m “finished”, and for some reason it’s mandatory to confirm that information. What on earth would I “cancel”? There’s nothing to cancel if it’s already printed.

I’d love to watch the Video Professor explain this efficiency train wreck. I’ll bet this simple concept would consumer almost half a CD. For ONE task, which should be completed in ONE mouse click.

Why oh why can’t you just hit “print”, have ONE box you can hammer the enter key to skip through, and have it printed? How many steps will Vista have? As my motto goes, simple is better.

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