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Archived - Mac OS X 10.1: Includes PPDs for Many PostScript Printers

Mac OS X 10.1 installs PostScript Printer Description (PPD) files necessary to use many Apple LaserWriter and third-party PostScript printers.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
The Mac OS X print architecture works with many Apple and third-party PostScript printers: those that are PostScript Level 2 and 3 printers, and that use PostScript Printer Description (PPD) files that describe the set of printer features available for a specific PostScript printer or printer family. For example, a PPD file might include features like:
  • the paper-handling capabilities of a printer
  • the number of paper trays and their capacity
  • available paper sizes they handle

PPD files are created by printer vendors. Mac OS X 10.1 comes with many Apple and third-party PPD files from Hewlett-Packard, Tektronix, Lexmark and Xerox. A list of these printers can be found below. For information on ink jet printers, see technical document 106490: "Mac OS X 10.1: Many Third-Party Ink Jet Printer Drivers Are Included"

Choosing a PPD File

A new feature for Mac OS X 10.1 is automatic queue creation for USB PostScript printers that use TBCP. When you connect a USB PostScript printer to your computer for the first time, a printer queue is created automatically, and the proper PPD is associated with that printer. If that printer's PPD is not available, the Generic PPD will be automatically associated with that printer and queue. To associate a different PPD with the USB PostScript printer, open Print Center, delete the old printer from the Printer List, then add a new printer and select the specific PPD file you wish to be used from the Printer Model pop-up menu.

When adding a printer in Print Center that is connected to your printer via AppleTalk, the PPD can also be selected automatically for you, unless you choose one specifically from the Printer Model pop-up menu.

The Mac OS print architecture may automatically select the proper PPD for USB and AppleTalk connected printers. The communication protocols used support bi-directional communication, allowing Print Center to query and obtain from the printer its product name. Another advantage of automatic PPD selection is that when a PPD file is not found in the Mac OS X system, it searches for a PPD in the Classic (Mac OS 9) System Folder, provided the Classic environment has been used at least once or that the Classic System Folder has been selected at least once in the Startup Disk pane of System Preferences. For these and other reasons, you should allow the Mac OS X print architecture to use its automatic selection capabilities when the proper PPD is available.

In contrast, you must manually select the printer's PPD file when adding "LPR Printers using IP". For best results, choose the PPD file that is provided specifically for that printer from the Printer Model pop-up menu. When the specific PPD file for your printer is not available, consider choosing the Printer Model that most closely resembles your printer. For example, select the Lexmark E312 PPD file for use with your Lexmark E310 printer. Selecting the PPD intended for a model of printer similar to yours will often provide you access to more of your printer's capabilities than merely selecting the Generic PPD, which is designed for maximum compatibility with a wide range of PostScript printers.


Mac OS X 10.1 includes PPDs for these PostScript printers:

Apple

LaserWriter 4/600 PS
LaserWriter 12/640 PS
LaserWriter 16/600 PS
LaserWriter 16/600 PS Fax
LaserWriter 16/600 PS-J
LaserWriter 8500
LaserWriter Color 12/600 PS
LaserWriter Color 12/600 PS-J
LaserWriter Color 12/660 PS
LaserWriter IIf
LaserWriter IIg
LaserWriter Personal 320
LaserWriter Personal NTR
LaserWriter Pro 600
LaserWriter Pro 630
LaserWriter Pro 810
LaserWriter Pro 810f
LaserWriter Select 360
LaserWriter Select 360f
LaserWriter Select 610


Hewlett-Packard

HP Color LaserJet
HP Color LaserJet 4500
HP Color LaserJet 4550
HP Color LaserJet 5M
HP Color LaserJet 8500
HP Color LaserJet 8550
HP LaserJet 1200
HP LaserJet 1220
HP LaserJet 2200
HP LaserJet 3200M
HP LaserJet 4 Plus
HP LaserJet 4/4M
HP LaserJet 4ML
HP LaserJet 4MP
HP LaserJet 4Si
HP LaserJet 4V
HP LaserJet 5/5M
HP LaserJet 5MP
HP LaserJet 5Si
HP LaserJet 5Si Mopier
HP LaserJet 6P/MP
HP LaserJet 2100 Series
HP LaserJet 4000 Series
HP LaserJet 4050 Series
HP LaserJet 4100 Series
HP LaserJet 5000 Series
HP LaserJet 8000 Series
HP LaserJet 8100 Series
HP LaserJet 8150 Series
HP LaserJet 9000 Series
HP Mopier 240
HP Mopier 320


Lexmark

Lexmark C720
Lexmark Optra C710
Lexmark Optra Color 45
Lexmark Optra Color 1200
Lexmark Optra E312
Lexmark Optra E312L
Lexmark Optra M410
Lexmark Optra M412
Lexmark Optra T (T610, T612, T614, T616)
Lexmark Optra W810
Lexmark T520
Lexmark T522
Lexmark T620
Lexmark T622
Lexmark W820


Tektronix

Tektronix Phaser 360 Extended
Tektronix Phaser 740
Tektronix Phaser 740 Extended
Tektronix Phaser 740 Plus
Tektronix Phaser 750DP
Tektronix Phaser 750DX
Tektronix Phaser 750N
Tektronix Phaser 750P
Tektronix Phaser 780
Tektronix Phaser 780 Graphics
Tektronix Phaser 780 Plus
Tektronix Phaser 840
Tektronix Phaser 840 Extended
Tektronix Phaser 840 Plus
Tektronix Phaser 850DP
Tektronix Phaser 850DX
Tektronix Phaser 850N
Tektronix Phaser 1235 PS


Xerox

Xerox DocuColor 2006
Xerox DocuPrint N2025 PS
Xerox DocuPrint N2125 PS
Xerox DocuPrint N2825 PS
Xerox DocuPrint N3225 PS
Xerox DocuPrint N4025 PS
Xerox DocuPrint N4525 PS
Xerox Phaser 790
Xerox Phaser 2135 PS


Notes
    1. Though Mac OS X 10.1 installs the PPDs for the Personal LaserWriter NT, LaserWriter Pro 400, and LaserWriter Pro 405, these printers do not work with Mac OS X, as they are PostScript Level 1 printers. Mac OS X only works with PostScript Level 2 and 3 printers.

    2. Some features of certain printers do not work with Mac OS X. For example, a Fax PPD such as the LaserWriter 16_600 PS Fax will allow you to print to this printer but not to fax from it.

    3. If your printer is not listed here, try choosing the PPD of a printer that has a feature set similar to your printer. Using a PPD that is not designed specifically for your printer may not provide access to all of your printer's features, and unforeseen problems may be encountered. Before choosing this workaround, check with the manufacturer of your printer to see if they have released a printer-specific PPD for Mac OS X.

    4. Apple may add or remove PPD files without notice so this list is subject to change.
Last Modified: Feb 17, 2012
  • Last Modified: Feb 17, 2012
  • Article: TA20583
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