News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Printing on a Mac

    Posted on Nathan Parker Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems macOS Printing on a Mac

    Viewing 7 reply threads
    • Author
      Posts
      • #2233432 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        Someone texted me this question the other week:

        I’m new to a Mac coming from a Windows PC. Do I need to buy a new printer for my Mac?

        Printers that work with Windows PCs will generally work with a Mac. Adding a printer is super easy in macOS. It’s generally easier to do so than Windows, since Apple usually either has a printer driver already installed, or it reaches out through Software Update to add the driver. I have seldom needed to manually install a printer driver on a Mac. More instructions on adding printers on a Mac can be found here. In the rare event you need assistance hunting down a printer driver for a Mac, check here. If all else fails, you can even print to a printer connected to a Windows PC.

        If you have multiple Apple devices (Mac, iPhone, iPad) and you have an older printer, it’s a good idea to upgrade to a new printer that supports AirPrint. AirPrint will make printing from a Mac even easier, plus you can even print from your iPhone or iPad.

        For personal recommendations, I’ve found Canon to offer solid inkjet printers (I even have a Canon portable that I’ve owned for years that’s still going strong, although I use a Canon AirPrint printer for my main printer). For laser, I’ve found OKI LED printers hard to beat. They offer gorgeous print quality, easy to service parts, and solid support. They even walked me through a major midnight paper jam once!

        And for those having issues printing, check this article out.

        Nathan Parker

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2233452 Reply
        DrBonzo
        AskWoody Plus

        I would suggest going to your printer manufacturer’s web site. Find your printer and see if it’s Mac compatible. If it is, see if the necessary drivers, manuals, and other software is available for the MacOS version you have. You might need it; see below.

        I agree with Nathan about Canon inkjet printers. I’ve has 2 all in one Canons and both have been reliable work horses with excellent print quality (both text and graphics). However…

        … I have not found printer installation to be any where near as easy as Apple Support pages say it is. It’s not particularly difficult, but I have always had to download software and install it myself.

        I’m a relative newbie to Macs but I’ve installed a Canon all in one and an Epson all in one on an iMAC running High Sierra. In each case, the computer didn’t have a clue that a printer was connected, so I had no option to add the printer from a list in Printer Preferences or to have the computer reach out through Software Update to get a driver, nor were any drivers already installed. So, I had to go to the Canon and Epson websites to get the software. It’s not hard – similar to what you would need to do in Windows, but not as trivial as Apple made it sound.

        Also, if you need to go to the Canon website, I found that it was not kept up to date, at least as far as MacOS is concerned. The latest version listed as having available software was Yosemite (from 2014), while my OS is High Sierra (from 2017). Turns out that the version listed for Yosemite worked just fine.

        Just trying to give you a heads up as to what might happen. My experience may not be typical, and in fact, Nathan’s seems to have been just as Apple described.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2233453 Reply
        Myst
        AskWoody Plus

        I have an all-in-one simple little Canon I bought for my mom a few years ago. It has never skipped a beat and the print quality is decent, that’s with it being connected to either the Win7 PC or Mac. Also have a Canon wireless printer but haven’t set it up yet. Running on an older MacOS and it easily recognized the Canon I’m currently using, so setting it up was hassle free. Hopefully once the wireless printer is up and running, the Mac will take it with no problems.

        Win7 Home x64 MacOS Chromebook

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2233456 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        I have an inkjet HP Officejet 4650 all-in-one that I use with both the Mac and the Windows 7 PC and works equally well with both. It does, for what I need, a pretty decent job and, three years on, the paper has not jammed even once. I bought it originally for the PC, so I was quite happy to see it also working with the Mac, that I bought some months later. But I do not use it much, mostly to print documents, (the main job being when I do my taxes) or something that I need to have scanned into PDF, JPEG, etc., or else photocopied. I am not trying for photo quality, although it makes good enough print when plain matte paper is all is needed. So this little printer has been the right one for my modest printing needs. By now there must be newer HP models out there. It tends to run through cartridges rather faster than other printers I’ve had and have already passed on to a better life.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

        • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by OscarCP.
        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2233477 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        I have Samsung color Laser all-in-one CLX-3185FN that worked for years, flawlessly, with Windows 7.
        Now on Windows 10 it took days to find the proper drivers and I still miss Samsung’s control software for Windows 10.
        Samsung’s printer business has been sold to HP in 2017.

        So even moving from OS version within Windows could cause printer compatibility.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2233617 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        By the way, someone from a Mac User Group reminded me about Printopia. I have used it in the past, and good to know it’s still around. It allows you to enable AirPrint on a printer that doesn’t support AirPrint out of the box.

        Other printer brands I have successfully used with Macs were Epson and Lexmark. I had an Epsom with my PowerBook that worked for a long while, and Apple once gave me a Lexmark free with a Mac purchase (back when that was a thing). The Lexmark ink was a little pricey, but both printers integrated well with my Mac. I’ve had the most luck with Canon and OKI.

        With OKI, the onboard drivers on a Mac work, but installing some of the additional utilities from the OKI website have enhanced the experience.

        There is also a generic printer driver on the Mac that I’ve found works as an “if all else fails” if you flat can’t get any drivers to work with a Mac. When adding the printer, simply select the generic driver option.

        Nathan Parker

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2233618 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Natahan” “There is also a generic printer driver on the Mac that I’ve found works as an “if all else fails” if you flat can’t get any drivers to work with a Mac. When adding the printer, simply select the generic driver option.”

        If I recall correctly, that generic driver is what I must have used, as I am pretty sure that I did not install the HP using the installation disk.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2233622 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        It likely was.

        By the way, two other tidbits I wanted to include.

        First, in any printer dialog on a Mac, one can easily make a PDF. This feature was finally added to Windows 10. For Windows versions prior to Windows 10, I used CutePDF. For those who switched to a Mac from a version of Windows prior to Windows 10 and didn’t have CutePDF installed, don’t forget about this luxurious feature that I use all the time!

        And for the geeks wanting to know more about the Mac’s printing system, it’s based on CUPS.

        Nathan Parker

    Viewing 7 reply threads

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Printing on a Mac

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.