How to Print from Your iMac within OS X Mavericks

By Mark L. Chambers

OS X Mavericks makes document printing a breeze. Because most Mac printers use a Universal Serial Bus (USB) port, setting up printing couldn’t be easier. Just turn on your printer and connect the USB cable between the printer and your iMac; Mavericks does the rest.

Printer manufacturers supply you with installation software that might add cool extra software or fonts to your system. Even if Mavericks recognizes your USB printer immediately, you should still launch the manufacturer’s OS X installation disc. For example, your new Epson printer may come with new fonts and a CD/DVD label application, but you wouldn’t have them if you didn’t install the Epson software package.

After your printer is connected and installed, you can use the same procedure to print from within just about every OS X application on the planet!

To print with the default page layout settings — standard 8-1/2 x 11″ paper, portrait mode, no scaling — follow these steps:

  1. Within the active application, choose File→Print or press the the Command key+P shortcut.

    OS X displays the Print dialog.

  2. From this dialog, you can

    • Print from a different printer connected to your iMac or print over a network connection to a shared printer on another computer (or a printer with built-in Ethernet networking).

      Open the Printer pop-up menu to display all the printers that you can access.

    • Print multiple copies.

      For more than one copy, click in the Copies field and type the number of copies that you need.

    • Check what the printed document will look like.

      Use the left- and right-arrow keys under the Preview display to look at each page of your document as it will appear when printed.

    If you have to make changes to the document or you need to change the default print settings, click Cancel to return to your document. (You have to repeat Step 1 again to display the Print dialog again.)

If everything looks good at this point and you don’t need to change any settings (like choosing a different page size or to print only a portion of the document), click Print — and you’re done! Or, to change settings, click the Show Details button at the bottom of the sheet. Now you can make a number of optional changes to your print job:

  • To print a range of selected pages, select the From radio button and then enter the starting and ending pages.

    To print the entire document, leave the default Pages option set to All.

  • To select a different paper size, click the Paper Size pop-up menu.

  • To choose application-specific settings (like collating and grayscale printing), click the pop-up menu in the center of the Print dialog and choose the desired settings pane that you need to adjust.

When you’re set to go, click Print.

You can also save an electronic version of a document in the popular Adobe Acrobat PDF format from the Print dialog — without spending money on Adobe Acrobat. (Slick.)

  1. Click the PDF button to display the destination pop-up menu.

  2. Choose Save as PDF.

    Mavericks prompts you with a Save As dialog, where you can type a name for the PDF document and also specify a location on your hard drive where the file should be saved.

Heck, if you like, you can even fax a PDF (with an external USB modem or a multifunction printer), add the PDF to iBooks, or send it as a Messages or an Apple Mail email attachment! Just choose these options from the destination list rather than Save as PDF.