Publish or Perish: The Fail-Safe Guide to Printing - Mastering Your Mavericks - OS X Mavericks For Dummies (2014)

OS X Mavericks For Dummies (2014)

Part IV. Mastering Your Mavericks


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In this part…

image The backstory you need before setting up a printer.

image Setting up a printer without tearing out your hair.

image Making sense of the myriad Print options

image Things you’ll need to know about sharing data with others

image Cool technologies to help your Mac look, feel, and act just the way you want her (or him)

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Chapter 15. Publish or Perish: The Fail-Safe Guide to Printing

In This Chapter

arrow Connecting a printer

arrow Using Page Setup to prepare your document for printing

arrow Printing to most printers

arrow Mastering the printing process

When you want to get what’s on your screen onto paper, printing under OS X should be as simple as pressing the keyboard shortcut Command Key+P and pressing Return or Enter. Happily, that’s usually just how easy printing something is; when it isn’t, printing can turn into a raging nightmare. If you configure your printer and printing software properly, however, printing is pretty darn simple.

In this chapter, I scare away the bogeymen to help you avoid any printing nightmares. I walk you through the entire process as though you just unpacked a new printer and plugged it in.

Before Diving In . . .

Before I even start talking about hooking up printers, you need to know a few essential things. So here’s a little list that tells you just what those things are:

image Read the documentation that came with your printer. Hundreds of different printer makes and models are available for the Mac, so if I contradict something in your printer manual, follow your manual’s instructions first. If that effort doesn’t work, try the techniques in this chapter.

image image The Print and Page Setup sheets differ slightly (or even greatly) from program to program and from printer to printer. Although the examples I show you in this chapter are representative of what you’ll probably encounter, you might come across sheets that look a bit different. For example, the Print and Page Setup sheets for Microsoft Word include choices that I don’t cover in this chapter (such as Even or Odd Pages Only, Print Hidden Text, and Print Selection Only). If you see commands in your Print or Page Setup sheet that I don’t explain here, they’re specific to that application; look within its documentation for an explanation. Similarly, many graphics apps — such as Apple’s iPhoto, Adobe Illustrator, and Photoshop — have added their own print dialog, which appears before the Mavericks print sheet with list boxes, radio buttons, and other controls, to the point where you might not even recognize them as Print dialogs.

image image Don’t forget about the Help. Of course, it’s built into Mavericks and better than ever, but many third-party programs support this excellent Apple technology, which can be the fastest way to figure out a feature that has you stumped. So don’t forget to check out the Help menu before you panic. (I cover the Help menu in Chapter 1.)

Ready: Connecting and Adding Your Printer

Before you can even think about printing something, you have to connect a printer to your Mac and tell OS X that the printer exists.

imageIf you have a printer and are able to print documents already, you can skip ahead to the “Set: Setting Up Your Document with Page Setup” section. The info between here and there pertains only to setting up a brand-new printer — one that still has its manual.

Connecting your printer

Once again, I must remind you that you could connect your Mac to thousands of printer models, and each one is a little different from the next. In other words, if what you’re about to read doesn’t work with the printer you’re trying to connect, RTFM (Read the Fine Manual). It should tell you how to load your ink or toner cartridges.

That said, here are some very general steps to connect a printer to your Mac:

1. Connect the printer to your Mac with the cable snugly attached at both ends (printer and Mac).

For your printer to work, you have to somehow connect it to a data source. (Think of your phone — you can’t receive calls without some sort of connector between callers.)

What about wireless printing?

For those who wish to print wirelessly over Wi-Fi (assuming your printer supports it), I’m afraid you’re on your own. Here’s why: The procedure for setting up a Wi-Fi printer is different for each manufacturer; hence I can’t provide such instructions in the allotted number of pages. Here’s some good news, though: I have set up a number of Epson, Canon, HP, and Kodak Wi-Fi printers and have rarely had a problem. Most of them have been easy to set up for wireless printing by following the instructions that came with the printer. If you don’t have the instructions or can’t find them, visit the manufacturer’s website and search for your printer model’s manual.

2. Plug the printer’s AC power cord into a power outlet.

Yup, I mean the regular kind of outlet in the wall; on a power strip; or, best of all, on a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). Some printers require you to plug one end of the AC power cord into the printer; others have the AC power cord attached permanently. The point is that your printer won’t work if it’s not connected to a power source.

3. Turn on your printer.

Look in the manual if you can’t find the power switch.

4. If your printer came with software, install it on your Mac, following the instructions that came with the printer.

5. (Optional) Restart your Mac.

You need to do this only if you had to install software and the Installer told you to restart.

Setting up a printer for the first time

After you connect your computer and printer, provide a power source for your printer, and install the software for your printer, you’re ready . . . to configure your Mac. You have to do that so your Mac and your printer can talk to each other.

imageMany, if not all, of the steps involving the Printers & Scanners System Preference pane require that your printer be turned on and warmed up (that is, already run through its diagnostics and startup cycle) beforehand. So before doing anything else, make sure your printer is turned on, warmed up, and connected to your Mac.

The first time you connect your printer, you may see an alert asking whether you want to download and install software for your printer. My printer is an Epson Workforce 845, as shown in Figure 15-1.

Any port on a Mac

Mac technology has changed dramatically since the previous editions of this book, when I used to say, “Begin by connecting the printer to the Printer port.” Ah, nostalgia. Now I tell you, “You need to plug the printer cable into the appropriate port. . . .” You see, these days, printers might connect via a USB, Ethernet, or (rarely) FireWire port. Or it might connect wirelessly via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Typically, your printer connects to your machine via USB. If your printer didn’t come with a cable that fits into one of the ports on your Mac, contact your printer manufacturer and ask for one; it’s cheesy not to provide the proper cable with a printer.


Figure 15-1: Connecting a printer to your Mac.

You do, so click the Install button. At this point, you may see a License Agreement window. If so, click the Agree button to proceed. (You may click Disagree if you wish, but that halts the installation process.)

After clicking the Install and Agree buttons, a Software Update window may appear and tell you it’s finding software. If it does, just leave it alone; it disappears after a minute or two. Don’t click the Stop button unless you want to abort the installation.

If you’ve connected a new printer and didn’t see an alert like the one shown in Figure 15-1, it’s not an issue; just follow the upcoming instructions.

Here are the steps to set up a printer for the first time:

1. Launch System Preferences, click the Printers & Scanners icon, and then click your printer’s name in the Printers list on the left side of the window.

imageYou can open System Preferences from the Apple menu, or launch it from the Applications folder, Dock, or Launchpad.

Mavericks is a pretty smart cat; it should have already recognized your printer at this point. If so, your printer’s name appears in the Printers list of the Printers & Scanners System Preferences pane, as shown in Figure 15-2. My printer’s name, as you can see in Figure 15-2, is Epson WorkForce 845.


Figure 15-2: The printers that Mavericks recognizes are on the left; click the plus sign (+) button to add other printers.

If your printer isn’t in the list at this point, click the + button at the bottom of the Printers list and either select it from the list of nearby printers or choose Add Other Printer or Scanner.

If you still can’t “see” your printer, you probably need to install (or reinstall) its driver software manually, either from the CD or DVD that came with the printer or by downloading the latest driver software from your printer manufacturer’s website. See the nearby sidebar “Go for a driver” for more on drivers.

2. Select the printer you want selected by default when you print documents from the Default Printer pop-up menu (Last Printer Used is selected in Figure 15-2).

3. Select the default paper size you want to use with this printer from the Default Paper Size menu (usually US Letter if you live in the United States).

That’s all there is to it. Close System Preferences, and you’re ready to print your first document! Before you do, however, make sure you have the document set up to look just the way you want it to look printed. Read through “Set: Setting Up Your Document with Page Setup” for more info.

Go for a driver

Many printer manufacturers periodically introduce new drivers with enhanced functionality. So the driver software on the CD in the box with your printer could be out of date when you buy that printer. Check whether the CD contains the latest version of the printer driver on the manufacturer’s website, and download a more recent version of the driver if necessary.

Apple includes a library of printer drivers with Mavericks, which cover most popular printer brands and models. These drivers are installed by default. Mavericks also checks to see whether a newer driver is available — for every driver in its library — and if it finds one, offers to download and install the new driver (refer to Figure 15-1).

If you chose not to install some or all of them when you installed OS X Mavericks, you almost certainly need to manually install the appropriate printer drivers before your printer appears in the Printers & Scanners System Preferences pane’s Printers list.

One last thing: Printer sharing

To share a printer with others on your local area wired or wireless network, select it in the Printers list on the left side of the Printers & Scanners System Preferences pane, and then click the Share This Printer on the Network check box.

If Printer Sharing is not enabled, an alert that says Printer Sharing Is Turned Off appears below the check box, as shown in Figure 15-2. Click the Sharing Preferences button on the right and the Sharing System Preferences pane (which I discuss in much detail in Chapter 16) replaces the Printers & Scanners pane. Just select the check box next to Printer Sharing to turn it on.

Set: Setting Up Your Document with Page Setup

After you set up your printer, the hard part is over. You should be able to print a document quickly and easily — right? Not so fast, bucko. Read here how the features in the Page Setup sheet can help you solve most basic printing problems.

Many programs have a Page Setup command on their File menu. Note that some programs use the name Page Setup, and others use Print Setup. (Print Setup is the quaint, old term, more popular in the System 6 era and in Windows than on today’s Macs.) Either way, this is the sheet where you can choose your target printer, paper size, page orientation, and scale (as shown in Figure 15-3).

imageBecome familiar with Page Setup. You might not need to use it right this second, but it’s a good friend to know. Even though some apps offer some of these Page Setup settings in their Print sheets, Page Setup is the only place you find these options in many programs.


Figure 15-3: The Page Setup sheet in the TextEdit application.

imageUsers of network printers or PostScript printers might see slightly different versions of the Print and Page Setup sheets. The differences should be minor enough not to matter.

imageClick the little question mark in the bottom-left corner of the Page Setup or Print sheets at any time for additional help. If you do, Page Setup or Printing help opens immediately in the Help Center. (Okay, maybe not immediately, but Help Center in Mavericks is much, much faster than the Help Viewer in previous OS X incarnations.)

The options within the Page Setup sheet are as follows:

image Settings: When you have everything else in the Page Setup sheet configured just the way you want it for most documents, choose Save As Default to save this configuration as the default Page Setup for this application.

image Format For: In this pop-up menu, you find the name of the active printer. If you have several printers configured, you can choose any of them from this menu.

imageThis menu usually defaults to Any Printer, the least effective setting. Unless the printer you want to use appears here, you may not get the full functionality the printer offers.

image Paper Size: Use this pop-up menu to choose the type of paper currently in the paper tray of your printer or to choose the size of the paper that you want to feed manually. The dimensions of the paper that you can choose appear below its name.

imagePage Setup sheet settings (including Paper Size) remain in effect until you change them. For example, when you print an envelope, don’t forget to change back to Letter before trying to print on letter-size paper again.

image Orientation: Choose among options here to tell your printer whether the page you want to print should be portrait-oriented (like a letter, longer than it is wide) or landscape-oriented (sideways, wider than it is long).

imageSome programs offer additional Page Setup choices. If your program offers them, they usually appear in the Settings pop-up menu in the Page Setup sheet. (Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Word have them; TextEdit doesn’t.)

image Scale: To print your page at a larger or smaller size, change this option to a larger or smaller percentage.

Print: Printing with the Print Sheet

After you connect and configure your printer and set up how you want your document to print, you come to the final steps before that joyous moment when your printed page pops out of the printer. Navigating the Print sheet is the last thing standing between you and your output.

imageAlthough most Print sheets that you see look like the figures I show here, others may differ slightly (or, occasionally, greatly). The features in the Print sheet are a function of the program with which you’re printing. Many programs choose to use the standard-issue Apple sheet, but not all do. If I don’t explain a certain feature in this chapter, chances are good that the feature is specific to the application or printer you’re using (in which case, the documentation for that program or printer should offer an explanation).

Printing a document

If everything has gone well so far, the actual act of printing a document is pretty simple. Just follow the steps here, and in a few minutes, pages should start popping out of your printer like magic. (In the sections that follow, I talk about some print options that you’ll probably need someday.)

1. Open a document that you want to print.

2. Choose FilePrint (or press Command Key+P).

You see the basic Print sheet, as shown in Figure 15-4.

3. Click Print.

Wait a few minutes for the network to tell the printer what to do, and then walk over to your printer to get your document.


Figure 15-4: Your basic Print sheet.

imageChoosing File⇒Print (Command Key+P) won’t work for you if any one of the following is true for the software you’re using:

image The Print command is on a different menu.

image There is no Print command. (Hey, it could happen . . . for example, the Finder has no Print command.)

image The Print keyboard shortcut is anything but Command Key+P.

If any of the preceding is true for a program you’re using, you just have to wing it. Look in all the menus and check out the product’s documentation to try to get a handle on the Print command for that pesky program.

Choosing among different printers

Just as you can in the Page Setup sheet, you can choose which printer you want to use from the Printer pop-up menu of the Print sheet.

imageYou can choose only among the printers you’ve added via the Printers & Scanners System Preferences pane, as I describe earlier in this chapter in the section I lovingly call “Setting up a printer for the first time.” This includes printers connected to wireless base stations and routers, as well as Wi-Fi–enabled printers. After they’re set up, Macs (and other devices) within range can print to these printers wirelessly.

Choosing custom settings

By default, the Print sheet is displayed with its details hidden. As such, just three menus are available: Printer, Pages, and PDF. To reveal the rest of the Print options, click the Show Details button near the bottom of the Print sheet. An expanded Print sheet with all the details you’re likely to need, as shown in Figure 15-5, replaces the more streamlined version shown in Figure 15-4.


Figure 15-5: Your expanded Print sheet.

imageClick in any of the fields and press the Tab key. Your cursor jumps to the next text field; likewise, press Shift+Tab to jump to the previous field. By the way, this shortcut works in almost any program, window, dialog, or web page that has text fields.

The expanded Print sheet has the following options:

image Copies: In this text field, set how many copies you want to print. The Print sheet defaults to one copy (1) in most applications, so you probably see the numeral 1 in the Copies field when the Print sheet appears. Assuming that’s the case, don’t do anything if you want to print only one copy. If you want to print more than one copy of your document, highlight the 1 that appears in the Copies field and replace it, typing the number of copies you want.

image Pages: Here, you find two radio buttons: All and From. The default behavior is to print your entire document, so the All option is preselected. But if you want to print only a specific page or range of pages, select the From radio button and type the desired page numbers in the From and To text fields.

Suppose that you print a 10-page document — and then notice a typo on Page 2. After you correct your error, you don’t have to reprint the whole document — only the page with the correction. Reprint only Page 2 by typing 2 in both the From and To fields. You can type any valid range of pages (um, you can’t print page 20 if your document is only 15 pages long) in the From and To fields.

image Paper Size: Use options in this pop-up menu to choose the type of paper currently in your printer’s paper tray — or to choose the size of the paper that you want to feed manually. The dimensions of the paper appear below its name.

imageYou’ve already seen this setting in Page Setup. The difference is that the settings here (in the Print sheet) apply only to this document, whereas the settings in Page Setup are the default for all documents and remain in effect until you change them in Page Setup. This can be very handy when, for example, you print an envelope. If you change the paper-size setting for the envelope document, you don’t have to remember to change it back to Letter in Page Setup.

image Orientation: Once again, you’ve seen this setting in Page Setup. And once again, the choice you make in Page Setup is the default for all pages you print. Keep in mind that the setting you choose here (in the Print sheet) applies only to this document. Choose among options here to tell your printer whether the page you want to print should be portrait or landscape oriented.

The following list describes the features you can find in the unlabeled menu found in the expanded Print sheet (the one that says TextEdit in Figure 15-5). In addition to the TextEdit, Layout, and other options I cover in a moment, your pop-up menu may offer options such as Quality & Media, Color Options, Special Effects, Borderless Printing, and so on. (Whether you have these options depends on your printer model and its driver.) Check out these options if you have ’em; they usually offer useful features:

image TextEdit: The only TextEdit-specific options, as shown in Figure 15-5, are two check boxes. One governs whether to print a header and footer for this document; the other lets you choose to rewrap the contents of the document to fit the page.

imageYou can see the results of clicking these check boxes in the proxy image of your document on the left half of the sheet.

image Layout: Choose Layout to set the number of pages per printed sheet, the layout direction, and whether you prefer a border. Here are your options for Layout:

Pages per Sheet: Choose preset numbers from this pop-up menu to set the number of pages that you want to print on each sheet.

imagePages appear onscreen smaller than full size if you use this option.

Layout Direction: Choose one of the four buttons that govern the way pages are laid out on the printed page.

Border: Your choices from this pop-up menu are None, Single Hairline, Single Thin Line, Double Hairline, and Double Thin Line.

Two-Sided: If your printer supports two-sided (known as duplex) printing, the three radio buttons allow you to specify whether you’re going to use two-sided printing and, if so, whether you’ll be binding (or stapling) along the long or short edge of the paper.

Two check boxes — Reverse Page Orientation and Flip Horizontally — do just what they say if you enable them.

image Color Matching: Choose Color Matching to choose a color-conversion method (usually, either Apple’s ColorSync or Vendor Matching). The idea here is to get the printed page to look as much like what’s on your screen as possible.

image Paper Handling: Choose Paper Handling if you want to reverse the order in which your pages print or to print only the odd- or even-numbered pages. You can also specify whether the document’s paper size is to be used (in which case, you might have lines that break across pages) or whether the output should be scaled to fit the chosen paper size.

image Cover Page: Choose Cover Page to add a cover page.

image Print Settings: Choose Print Settings to choose paper type and print quality.

Saving custom settings

After you finalize printer settings, you can save them for future use. Just click the Presets pop-up menu and choose Save Current Settings as Preset, and provide a name for this preset. From then on, the preset name appears as an option in the Presets pop-up menu. Just choose your saved set before you print any document, and all the individual settings associated with that preset are restored.

To manage your custom settings, known in Mavericks-speak as presets, choose Show Presets from the Print sheet’s Presets pop-up menu. This nifty feature displays a list of your presets and their settings and allows you to delete, duplicate, or rename (by double-clicking their current name) your presets.

Preview and PDF Options

To see a preview of what your printed page will look like, choose Open PDF in Preview from the PDF pop-up menu in the bottom-left corner of the expanded Print sheet. When you do so, you see the page or pages that you’re about to print displayed by the Preview application, as shown in Figure 15-6.


Figure 15-6: A preview of a TextEdit document.

If you have any doubt about the way a document will look when you print it, check out Preview first. When you’re happy with the document preview, just choose File⇒Print, press Command Key+P, or click the Print button at the bottom of the Preview window. Or click the Cancel button to return to your application and make changes to the document.

Preview works with the Preview application. With the Preview feature, you can do cool things like these:

image See all the pages in your document the way they’ll be printed, one by one.

image Zoom in or out to get a different perspective on what you’re about to send to the printer (pretty cool!).

image Rotate the picture 90 degrees to the left or right.

image Insert (via drag and drop), delete, or reorder pages in Preview’s sidebar.

image Spot errors before you print something. A little up-front inspection can save you paper, ink/toner, and frustration.

Check out the Preview program’s View menu, where you’ll find (among other things), four useful views: Content Only, Thumbnails (shown in Figure 15-6), Table of Contents, and Contact Sheet, as well as the zoom commands and more.

image Click the Show/Hide Edit Toolbar button (shown in the margin) to reveal a small toolbar with several useful tools, as shown in Figure 15-7.

Also check out Preview’s toolbar, which you can add or delete buttons from by choosing View⇒Customize Toolbar.

And speaking of tools, don’t miss the selections in the Tools menu, which let you rotate pages, move forward or backward (through multipage documents), and unleash the awesomeness of the Magnifier, shown in Figure 15-8.


Figure 15-7: The Show/Hide Edit Toolbar button and the Edit Toolbar.


Figure 15-8: Preview app includes this useful Magnifier tool.

imageThe Magnifier tool is so very darn cool that it has a rare single-key keyboard shortcut. That key is the ` (the grave accent, which shares a key with the tilde); press it to show or hide the Magnifier. Finally, many of the tools and commands mentioned in this section are also available in the toolbar.

One last thing: OS X Mavericks includes the capability to fax a document right from the Print sheet, but it requires a compatible device with compatible fax modem drivers. To find out if your device is compatible, connect the device to your Mac and attempt to add it as a fax modem. Additional details appear in an online chapter, “Just the Fax,” which you’ll find at