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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 The software in those discs is probably already outdated anyway.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.
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