Installing and using printers is a funny subject on a Mac. I always get a response that printers won’t work, they are hard to install etc. The truth is that installing a printer on a Mac is a lot simpler than you may think. Like most tricks on a Mac you need to know the method, it is then simple to replicate. As well as this I will also show you one of the coolest printer tricks I have ever found.
To install a printer (USB in my case, although other methods are just as simple) plug in your printer to your computer. Plug your printer into the wall socket and then switch it on. Simply wait a couple of seconds as the printer starts up and you are done. No bones about it. You can view printer information from System Preferences > Print & Fax.
If you want to change the settings of your printer, such as driver used, the best way is to click the small plus at the bottom of the list on the left hand side and re-add your printer using the different driver settings. You can’t change the driver (in my case) using the options button. As well as this you also get a choice to add printers from other computers, IP address and other sources. Once as you have everything set up you can then use the printer.
One of the coolest features of the printer interface is to pool printers. Pooling printers is very useful if you have a large bank of printers in a room and you want to access the first available printer. For example you could have a Mac Mini in a room connected to all of your laser printers by pooling every one would see just one printer instead of 4 or 5. That Mac Mini would act as a mini printer server.
To set up pooling select your printers (make sure you install all of them first). Then in the main part of the window press “Create Printer Pool”. Add a name in the pop up window. It will then appear in the printer window as a normal printer.
The final step is to make sure printer sharing is switched on. Click the check box to share that will appear in in the printer pane. As well as this make sure that you have enabled printer sharing in your Firewall. You can turn this on by going to System Preferences > Sharing > Printer Sharing. If all goes well you can then print to the pool and it will come out of the first available printer.
Hopefully if you have followed this post correctly you should have set up your printer correctly. You can’t really go wrong. But if you have please leave a comment below.