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Custom Print Sheet Settings in Mountain Lion

If you’ve created a custom group of settings in OS X Mountain Lion previously, you can choose them from the Presets pop-up menu of the Print sheet. By default, the Print sheet is displayed with its details hidden. As such, just three menus are available: Printer, Pages, and PDF.

To reveal the rest of the Print options, click the Show Details button near the bottom of the Print sheet. An expanded Print sheet with all the details you’re likely to need replaces the more streamlined version.

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Click in any of the fields and press the Tab key. Your cursor jumps to the next text field; likewise, press Shift+Tab to jump to the previous field. By the way, this shortcut works in almost any program, window, dialog, or web page that has text fields.

The expanded Print sheet has the following options:

  • Copies: In this text field, set how many copies you want to print. The Print sheet defaults to one copy (1) in most applications, so you probably see the numeral 1 in the Copies field when the Print sheet appears.

    Assuming that’s the case, don’t do anything if you want to print only one copy. If you want to print more than one copy of your document, highlight the 1 that appears in the Copies field and replace it, typing the number of copies you want.

  • Pages: Here, you find two radio buttons: All and From. The default behavior is to print your entire document, so the All option is preselected. But if you want to print only a specific page or range of pages, select the From radio button and type the desired page numbers in the From and To text fields.

    Suppose that you print a 10-page document — and then notice a typo on Page 2. After you correct your error, you don’t have to reprint the whole document — only the page with the correction. Reprint only Page 2 by typing 2 in both the From and To fields.

    You can type any valid range of pages (um, you can’t print page 20 if your document is only 15 pages long) in the From and To fields.

  • Paper Size: Use options in this pop-up menu to choose the type of paper currently in your printer’s paper tray — or to choose the size of the paper that you want to feed manually. The dimensions of the paper appear below its name.

    You’ve already seen this setting in Page Setup. The difference is that the settings here (in the Print sheet) apply only to this document, whereas the settings in Page Setup are the default for all documents and remain in effect until you change them in Page Setup.

    This can be very handy when, for example, you print an envelope. If you change the paper-size setting for the envelope document, you don’t have to remember to change it back to Letter in Page Setup.

  • Orientation: Once again, you’ve seen this setting in Page Setup. And once again, the choice you make in Page Setup is the default for all pages you print. Keep in mind that the setting you choose here (in the Print sheet) applies only to this document. Choose among options here to tell your printer whether the page you want to print should be portrait or landscape oriented.

The following list describes the features you can find in the unlabeled menu found in the expanded Print sheet. In addition to the TextEdit, Layout, and other options, your pop-up menu might offer options such as Quality & Media, Color Options, Special Effects, Borderless Printing, and so on. (Whether you have these options depends on your printer model and its driver.)

Check out these options if you have ’em; they usually offer useful features:

  • TextEdit: The only TextEdit–specific options are two check boxes. One governs whether to print a header and footer for this document; the other lets you choose to rewrap the contents of the document to fit the page.

    You can see the results of clicking these check boxes in the proxy image of your document on the left half of the sheet.

  • Layout: Choose Layout to set the number of pages per printed sheet, the layout direction, and whether you prefer a border. Here are your options for Layout:

    • Pages per Sheet: Choose preset numbers from this pop-up menu to set the number of pages that you want to print on each sheet.

      Pages appear on-screen smaller than full size if you use this option.

    • Layout Direction: Choose one of the four buttons that govern the way pages are laid out on the printed page.

    • Border: Your choices from this pop-up menu are None, Single Hairline, Single Thin Line, Double Hairline, and Double Thin Line.

    • Two-Sided: If your printer supports two-sided (known as duplex) printing, the three radio buttons allow you to specify whether you’re going to use two-sided printing and, if so, whether you’ll be binding (or stapling) along the long or short edge of the paper.

    Two check boxes — Reverse Page Orientation and Flip Horizontally — do just what they say if you enable them.

  • Color Matching: Choose Color Matching to choose a color-conversion method (usually, either Apple’s ColorSync or Vendor Matching). The idea here is to get the printed page to look as much like what’s on your screen as possible.

  • Paper Handling: Choose Paper Handling if you want to reverse the order in which your pages print or to print only the odd- or even-numbered pages. You can also specify whether the document’s paper size is to be used (in which case, you might have lines that break across pages) or whether the output should be scaled to fit the chosen paper size.

  • Cover Page: Choose Cover Page to add a cover page.

  • Print Settings: Choose Print Settings to choose paper type and print quality.

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