Mac meets printer

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Mac meets printer

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Chapter 14. Printing, Faxing, Fonts, and Graphics The Macintosh may be only the eight-percent solution in the mainstream business world, but in the graphics and printing industries, it's the 800-pound gorilla

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  1. Chapter 14. Printing, Faxing, Fonts, and Graphics The Macintosh may be only the eight-percent solution in the mainstream business world, but in the graphics and printing industries, it's the 800-pound gorilla. You'd better believe that when Apple designed Mac OS X, it worked very hard to keep its graphics and printing fans happy. This chapter tackles printing, faxing, fonts, graphics, ColorSync, and PDF (Acrobat) files, which Mac OS X uses as an everyday exchange format—one of the biggest perks in Mac OS X. 14.1. Mac Meets Printer One of the biggest complaints about the original Mac OS X was that at the outset, not many printer companies had rewritten their printer drivers—the software that controls various printer models—for Mac OS X. Fortunately, the situation has improved: Today's Mac OS X comes with hundreds of printer drivers from Epson, HP, Lexmark, Canon, and others. 14.1.1. Setting Up a Printer One beauty of Mac OS X is that setting up a printer for the first time is incredibly easy. The first time you want to print something, follow this guide: 1. Connect the printer to the Mac, and then turn the printer on. Inkjet printers usually connect to your USB jack. Laser printers generally hook up to your Ethernet connector. (If you're on an office network, the laser printer may already be connected somewhere else on the network, saving you this step. If you're hooking the printer straight into your Mac's Ethernet jack, you may need an Ethernet crossover cable to connect it, rather than a standard Ethernet cable.) 2. Open the document you want to print. Choose File Print. In the Print dialog box, choose your printer's name from the Printer pop-up menu (or one of its submenus, if any). Cool! Wasn't that easy? Very nice how the Mac autodiscovers, autoconfigures, and auto lists almost any USB, FireWire, Bluetooth, or Bonjour (Rendezvous) printer. Have a nice afternoon. The End.
  2. Oh—unless your printer isn't listed in the Printer pop-up menu. In that case, read on. 3. From the Printer pop-up menu, choose Add Printer (Figure 14-1, top). Figure 14-1. Top: To introduce your Mac to a new printer, try to print something—and then choose Add Printer from this pop-up menu. Bottom: Your Mac should automatically "see" any printers that are hooked up and turned on. Click the one you want, and then click Add. A special setup window opens (Figure 14-1, bottom), which is even better at autodetecting printers available to your Mac. If you see the printer's name now, in the Printer Browser window, click it, and then click Add (Figure 14-1, bottom). You've just designated that printer as the default printer, the one that you'll print on most of the time. You're all set. Have a good time. Unless, of course, your printer still isn't showing up. Proceed to step 4. 4. Click the icon for the kind of printer you have: Windows, Bluetooth, AppleTalk, 1/3/2008 IP (that is, an Internet printer), or whatever. Choose AppleTalk if you're connected to a laser printer via an Ethernet network cable or AirPort wireless network. Choose Windows if there's a Windows-only printer out there on your office network. And so on. After a moment, the names of any printers that are turned on and connected appear in the printer list. For most people, that means only one printer—but one's enough. 5. Click the name of the printer you want to use. As an optional step, you can open the Print Using pop-up menu at the bottom of the dialog box. Choose "Select a driver to use," and then, in the list that appears, choose your particular printer's model name, if you can find it. That's how your Mac knows what printing features to offer you when the time comes: double- sided, legal size, second paper tray, and so on. 6. Click Add.
  3. After a moment, you return to the main Printer Browser window (Figure 14-1, top), where your printer now appears. You're ready to print. Note: If you still don't see your printer's name show up, ask yourself: Is my Mac on a corporate network? Does the network have an LPR (Line Printer) printer? If you and your company's network nerd determine that the printer you want to use is, in fact, an LPR printer, click IP Printing at the top of the Printer Browser dialog box. Fill in the appropriate IP address and other settings, as directed by your cheerful network administrator. 14.1.2. The Printer List If you're lucky enough to own several printers, repeat the steps above for each one. Eventually, you'll have introduced the Mac to all the printers available to it, so all their names show up in the printer list. To see the printer list so far, open System Preferences Print & Fax. (The old Printer Setup Utility has gone to the great Best Buy in the sky.) You can have all kinds of fun here: • Choose a default printer. As indicated by the Default Printer pop-up menu, Leopard intends, conveniently enough, to use whichever printer you used for the last printout for the next one. Most people, after all, don't switch printers much. Still, you can choose one particular printer from this pop-up menu to set it as the default printer—the one that the Mac uses unless you intervene by choosing from the Printer pop-up menu in the Print dialog box (Figure 14-1). • Create desktop printer icons. This handy, little-known feature gives you drag-and- drop access to your printers. From the Print & Fax pane of System Preferences, just drag a printer's icon out of the window and onto the desktop (or wherever you like). Repeat for your other printers. From now on, you can print a document on a certain printer just by dragging the document's icon onto the appropriate printer desktop icon. • Recover a gig of drive space. You know how Mac OS X comes with the necessary software for hundreds upon hundreds of printers? Unless you're in Oprah's tax bracket, you probably don't own that many printers—but their drivers are taking up nearly a gigabyte of hard drive space!
  4. To clean out the ones you don't need, open your hard drive Library Printers folder. Throw away the folders for printer companies that didn't make your printer. (Administrator account required.)  
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