Choosing Custom Printer Settings in Mac OS X Lion - dummies

Choosing Custom Printer Settings in Mac OS X Lion

By Bob LeVitus

After you connect and configure your printer with Mac OS X Lion and then set up how you want your document to print, you come to the final steps before that joyous moment when your printed page pops out of the printer. Navigating the Print sheet in OS X Lion is the last thing standing between you and your output.

By default, the Print sheet in Mac OS X Lion 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.


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

  • Copies: In this text field, set how many copies you want to print.

  • Pages: 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, mark the From radio button and then type the desired page numbers in the From and To text-entry boxes.

  • Paper Size: Use options in this pop-up menu to choose the type of paper currently in your printer’s paper tray.

  • Orientation: 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-oriented or landscape-oriented.

The following list describes the features you can find in the unlabeled menu found in the expanded Print sheet. (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.

  • Color Matching: Choose Color Matching to choose a color-conversion method (usually, either Apple’s ColorSync or Vendor Matching technology). 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.