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13.2. Making the Printout

You print documents from within the programs you used to create them, exactly as in previous versions of the Mac OS. The options for printing should feel distinctly familiar.

Sidebar 1. Three Detours

You may need to take one of three detours when introducing your Mac to its printer.

First, if you're on a really huge corporate network, the printer list may show you the names of several different network zones (network subdivisions). You may need to choose the appropriate zone, using the pop-up menu that miraculously appears, before you see the names of the printers in it.

Second, you may occasionally need to use the Printer Model pop-up menu. Most of the time, the Auto Select setting works just fine. If you experience trouble printing, however, consider choosing a specific printer model from this pop-up menu. (And if you don't see it listed, then something might have gone wrong with your software installation. Call the printer company for help.)

Finally, if you see your printer's name here but the words "Driver not installed" appear next to it, well, then, the driver isn't installed (Figure 13-1, middle). Mac OS X comes with the drivers for most recent printer models from Canon, Epson, Lexmark, and HP, but older models may not be included. Back out of this whole operation, install the Mac OS X driver software (which you've dutifully downloaded from the printer company's Web site), and then repeat the setup process.

So how do you know if Mac OS X has your driver already? If you're trying to hook up a PostScript laser printer, its installer puts something called a PPD (PostScript Printer Description) file into your Library→Printers→PPDs folder. And if you're hooking up any other kind of printer, such as a color inkjet, its driver software winds up in the Library→Printers folder, usually in a folder named for the company (like Epson or Canon).

Meanwhile, here's a related tip. Open your hard drive→ Library→Printers folder. Examine the printer-manufacturer folders inside. These are the drivers that come with Mac OS X—all 490 megabytes of them. You can save a lot of disk space by throwing away the folders for printer models you don't own (Administrator account required).



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