Mac OS X: How to Choose a PPD File for a PostScript Printer

PostScript printers may use PPD files to access special printer features. Mac OS X often chooses the PPD automatically. This document describes how you may choose a PPD.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Note: This document covers one aspect of printing in Mac OS X. For more information, see technical document 106706: "Mac OS X: How to Print"

Choosing a PPD file

PostScript printers may use PPD files to give you access to special printer features. Mac OS X assigns a PPD file to a USB or AppleTalk printer automatically when you add the printer. You manually select a PPD file when adding an LPR printer to the printer list. Even if a PPD file is not found for a given LPR printer, Mac OS X can still print to it. Choose the Generic PPD or one for a printer model similar to yours. Choosing a similar model often provides access to more of your printer's capabilities the Generic PPD does, which is designed for maximum compatibility with a wide range of printers. For more details, see technical document 106516: "Mac OS X 10.1: Includes PPDs for Many PostScript Printers"

Changing a printer's PPD file

To associate a different PPD file with a printer, whether network or USB, follow these steps:
    1. From the Print dialog, choose Edit Printer List from the Printer pop-up menu.
    2. Select the printer, then click Delete.
    3. Add the printer again, selecting the specific PPD you wish to use from the Printer Model pop-up menu.

To see which PPD a printer is using

To find out which PPD file a printer is using, follow these steps:
    1. Open an application, such as TextEdit.
    2. Choose Print from the File menu.
    3. Choose the printer from the Printer pop-up menu.
    4. Choose Summary from the pop-up menu that does not have a name to its left.
Published Date: Oct 8, 2016