Adding a printer to your printer list in Mac OS X v10.5.8 or earlier
Learn how to add a printer to the printer list in Mac OS X v10.5.8 or earlier.
Mac OS X 10.0, Mac OS X 10.1, Mac OS X 10.2, Mac OS X 10.3, Mac OS X 10.4, Mac OS X 10.5
About the print dialog and printer list
When you choose the Print command in any Mac OS X application, a print dialog appears as a sheet attached to the window. The Printer pop-up menu lists the printers you can print to. Mac OS X has built-in software for many printers, so it may automatically add your printer to this list when you connected it to your computer's USB port. Network printers are added separately.
How to add a USB printer
If your printer does not appear in the Printer pop-up menu, find and install the appropriate driver. Check any CD-ROM discs included with the printer, or the website of your printer's manufacturer. Only users with an administrator account can install software.
Tip: You can also open the Printer List window from Printer Center (Mac OS X v10.2.8 or earlier) or the Printer Setup Utility (Mac OS X v10.3 Panther, or later).
Check the Printer menu again after installing the software. If the printer does not appear, you may need to do this:
- Make sure the printer is connected to your computer, plugged in, and turned on.
- For Mac OS X v10.2.8 or earlier, from the Printer menu in the print dialog choose Edit Printer List. The Printer List window appears.
- For Mac OS X v10.3 or later, choose Show Printer List from the View menu. The Printer List window appears.
- Click the Add Printer button.
- Choose USB from the first pop-up menu.
- Select your printer from the list.
- Click Add.
- Close the Printer List window.
How to add a network printer (AppleTalk or LPR)
Adding an AppleTalk or LPR network printer is very similar to adding a USB printer. In Step 4 above, you would choose AppleTalk or "LPR Printers using IP" from the pop-up menu. From there, the setup differs slightly.
- AppleTalk must be enabled in Network preferences.
- If your network uses AppleTalk zones, choose one from a second pop-up menu that appears.
- Make sure to avoid potential issues with AppleTalk multi-homing.
- You must enter the printer's IP address or DNS name.
- If you're printing to a queue, deselect the checkbox for "Use Default Queue on Server", then type the queue's name. If not, leave the checkbox selected.
- You can select your printer from the Printer Model menu or leave it at Generic. In essence, are selecting a PPD file.
Question mark appears, or trouble finding a printer?
If you can't find the printer you want to add in the list of connection methods, make sure you're choosing the right connection type for your printer. Some printers may use custom input-output modules, such as "Epson AppleTalk". You may need to select one of these custom options in order to add your printer. If there's a question mark on the printer's icon, or Print Center or Print Setup Utility lists it as unsupported, check for an updated software version at the manufacturer's website, or the Mac OS X downloads page.
Tip for software installation
Your printer may appear in the printer list before manufacturer-required software is installed. If you have such a printer, remove the printer from your printer list before installing the software. Add the printer back to the list after you've installed the software.
Printers whose drivers or PPDs are included with Mac OS X
See these articles for lists of printer drivers and PPD files included with Mac OS X:
Mac OS X v10.3: Included PPDs for PostScript Printers
Mac OS X v10.3: Raster (Inkjet) Printer Drivers Included
Mac OS X v10.2: Included Ink Jet Printer Drivers
Mac OS X v10.2: Included PPDs and Use of PostScript Printers
Mac OS X v10.1: Many Third-Party Ink Jet Printer Drivers Are Included
Mac OS X v10.1: Includes PPDs for Many PostScript Printers