Printing from a Mac

Printing from a Mac computer doesn’t have to be a frustrating process. In fact, it’s incredibly easy—given how user-friendly Macs already are.

But then there are those times when it’s not so easy, and, well, you’re just not sure why. If your Mac or printer are being symptomatic, here’s what could be wrong.

Check the Cables
Sounds obvious, but in a panic, we might not think of it. Take a moment to disconnect and reconnect all of the cables between the computer and the printer. Firmly insert them. If you’re using a USB printer, switch the cable to another USB port. Try to print again.

Give it a Test
To double check that it isn’t the program you’re using, print a page using your printer’s test page feature, if it has one. If it doesn’t work, turn off the printer, turn it back on, and then try again.

Delete the Old Stuff
After trying to print a few times without success, they’ll stay in the queue, ready to go. Save the file(s) waiting to be printing, delete the old print jobs, and try again. Alternatively, go the easy route, and buy everything pre-made from online sources.

Switch the App
If you’re trying to print from, for example, Word for Mac, try opening it up in a different program (Open Office, Notes, et cetera) to double check it isn’t the program you’re using. Hire a web design company.

Update and Reinstall Printer Software
Chances are, software for your printer is included with the Mac OS X installation. Make sure that the printer manufacturer, however, hasn’t updated a version on their website. Check and install a new printer driver from their website if it’s a newer version than the one on the Mac OS X.

If the Mac OS X has the latest version, use Optional Installs to update the printer software. If not, download, install and use the website’s version.

Update Your Mac OS X
In addition to printer software, be sure that the latest available version of Mac OS X is installed.

And if none of this works? You need some technical support. Contact the Mac team or a tech-savvy friend.