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Setting up a printer

From: Computer Literacy for the Mac

Video: Setting up a printer

One of the most common types of peripherals you'll probably need to use with your Mac is a printer. You can print to printers connected directly to your Mac's USB port, to printers connected to other Mac's under network, or even to your stand-alone network printers which connect directly to your network without needing to be tethered to a computer. Setting up a printer using the latest version of the Mac operating system couldn't be much easier. Let's take a look at the process starting with printing to a printer connected directly to your Mac. When you connect your printer to your Mac, you'll most likely use a USB cable, as that's the most common type of connection. It's also possible your printer connects via an Ethernet cable.

Setting up a printer

One of the most common types of peripherals you'll probably need to use with your Mac is a printer. You can print to printers connected directly to your Mac's USB port, to printers connected to other Mac's under network, or even to your stand-alone network printers which connect directly to your network without needing to be tethered to a computer. Setting up a printer using the latest version of the Mac operating system couldn't be much easier. Let's take a look at the process starting with printing to a printer connected directly to your Mac. When you connect your printer to your Mac, you'll most likely use a USB cable, as that's the most common type of connection. It's also possible your printer connects via an Ethernet cable.

So first determine which cable you need, and then connect your Mac and printer together. Once your printer is connected, turn it on. You can forget about any installation discs that came with the printer. The software in those discs is probably already outdated anyway. Next, open a document you'd like to print. Then choose File > Print. That opens the Print dialog box, or print window. In the menu next to Printer, you'll see your printer's name. If it's not the printer you want to print to, click the Printer menu, and you'll see a list of all the other printers that your Mac has detected.

The Mac OS automatically recognizes printers connected to your Mac via USB, Ethernet, FireWire, Bluetooth, and even on your network, in most cases. So to print your document, just click Print. We'll talk about some of the common printing options you will find in an upcoming movie. You can see that shows me my printer in my Dock. When I select it, I can check the status of the print job. Once my print job is done, it disappears from the Printer window. So I can go ahead and close this now. It really doesn't get much simpler than that. If you have a printer from a well-known manufacturer, that's probably the extent of what you will have to do to print your files.

Now if your printer did not show up in the Printer list, you'll have to add it manually. Start by clicking the Apple menu in the Menu bar, and choose System Preferences. Then choose Print & Fax. Here, you'll see a list of all the printers your Mac currently recognizes. To add another printer, click the Plus button. Your Mac will then perform a scan and try to detect your printer. If you see its name appear in this list, all you have to do is select it, and then click Add. But in this case, this is already the printer I'm printing to, so I don't need to add it.

I'm just going to close this window. But once you've added a printer, the next time you choose to print, you'll see the printer name appear in the Printer list. Now on the slim chance that you still weren't able to see your printer, and if you're novice at setting up computer hardware, you might want to call in help for this next step. First, you want to go back to System Preferences and to Print & Fax again. Then once again, click the Plus button to add a printer. So if your printer is on your office network but not showing up, you can try selecting the IP icon, but you'll need to know the protocol, or language being spoken, by the printer.

So again, this might require you to ask your company's tech support for some help. There is also an option to select Windows, if you have a Windows only printer you're trying to print to. But again, you'll need to know specific information about your network that's a little too complicated to get into here. Still, the chances that you will have to do any of these things are pretty slim. More likely, your Mac will recognize your printer the first time you go to print, and you won't have to bother with any other steps in the installation process.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Computer Literacy for the Mac
Computer Literacy for the Mac

55 video lessons · 23808 viewers

Garrick Chow
Author

 
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  1. 2m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the assessment files
      1m 7s
    3. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 9m 51s
    1. What's a computer?
      1m 49s
    2. What's inside a computer?
      2m 46s
    3. Laptop vs. desktop computers
      1m 59s
    4. Special considerations when using a laptop
      3m 17s
  3. 20m 58s
    1. Understanding the operating system
      3m 3s
    2. Understanding files, folders, and directories
      4m 49s
    3. Understanding your home folder (your user folder)
      5m 21s
    4. Using your desktop
      3m 11s
    5. Taking out the trash (recycle bin)
      2m 21s
    6. The right click
      2m 13s
  4. 24m 8s
    1. Understanding applications
      4m 24s
    2. Opening and saving files
      4m 10s
    3. Choosing the right tool
      4m 44s
    4. How to learn any application
      3m 53s
    5. Five things that work in all applications
      6m 57s
  5. 36m 22s
    1. Understanding computer ports
      2m 59s
    2. Setting up a printer
      3m 7s
    3. Printing your documents
      4m 30s
    4. Setting up a scanner
      2m 27s
    5. Scanning a document
      6m 15s
    6. Setting up a projector or second monitor
      5m 56s
    7. Using a projector
      3m 43s
    8. Portable storage devices
      3m 53s
    9. Pairing with Bluetooth devices
      3m 32s
  6. 17m 27s
    1. Understanding networks and internet access
      2m 58s
    2. Connecting to wired network
      2m 36s
    3. Connecting to wireless networks
      4m 4s
    4. Working in a networked environment
      6m 15s
    5. Staying protected from viruses
      1m 34s
  7. 19m 31s
    1. Understanding email servers and clients
      2m 11s
    2. Setting up your email application
      4m 15s
    3. Receiving and reading email
      2m 21s
    4. Composing new email messages
      5m 52s
    5. Reply vs. Reply All
      2m 11s
    6. Dealing with spam
      2m 41s
  8. 8m 24s
    1. Understanding search engines
      1m 24s
    2. Conducting basic searches
      3m 51s
    3. Conducting advanced searches
      3m 9s
  9. 24m 21s
    1. Using word processors
      4m 22s
    2. Formatting text
      7m 7s
    3. Using spreadsheets
      3m 36s
    4. Creating a simple data table
      7m 37s
    5. Formatting a data table
      1m 39s
  10. 18m 53s
    1. Importing images from a digital camera
      4m 46s
    2. Storing and organizing digital images
      5m 11s
    3. Basic image manipulation
      4m 10s
    4. Tagging images
      2m 32s
    5. Sharing images
      2m 14s
  11. 10m 52s
    1. Common obstacles in sharing files
      1m 37s
    2. Creating PDFs for document sharing
      5m 35s
    3. Compressing files
      3m 40s
  12. 1m 3s
    1. What's next?
      1m 3s

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