System Preferences: Printing
System Preferences as they now appear in OS X, 10.5, Leopard have seen a number of changes over earlier versions of OS X. Printing is an important function that we ask of our computers. Mac users have a fair amount of help here.
In the bottom panel are five important controls: a button to select the default printer; a button to change paper size (with Macs the default is usually US Letter); a lock icon to prevent changes (an Admin password is needed); and a small button with a question mark. Clicking this brings up help pages, including access on Apple's site (when online).
The most important controls in the bottom panel are the plus (+) and minus (-) signs for adding or deleting printers. When we select Add, a further panel is shown with seven icons: Default, Fax, IP, Windows, Bluetooth, AppleTalk and More Printers, which is used in conjunction with the other connection methods.
The identification and configuration of such printers uses technology called Bonjour (previously Rendezvous). There is also a (free) Bonjour utility for Windows.
Another common method of connecting a printer, particularly in an office environment, uses the IP (internet protocol) icon. Finding the IP number may need the cooperation of someone responsible for maintaining the printer.
The other IP connection method shown is HP Direct Socket, which may be needed when a printer from Hewlett-Packard is used. I have found, however, that installing a printer connected to a network may need some switching between the three choices, depending on the printer. With IP printing and the other methods (Default, AppleTalk), clicking on the "More Printers" section gives specific Canon, Epson (Firewire and IP) and HP parameters.
The next method, Windows, is beyond me (of course) and clicking on this brings up a Finder-like panel, with "workgroup" as the starting place. This eventually connects to any printer installed on a PC on the same network. I have no experience of this. Nor have I experience of working with Bluetooth printers, although the installation panel is similar to the Default: when a printer is on and connects (it must first be paired with the computer) it can be identified and added.
AppleTalk is a networking method that is used with some printers, although I have not seen this for a while. Using this selection, brings up a panel similar to the Windows method, with "Local Zone" instead of Workgroup.
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