Network Basics: Macintosh Network Printer Access

Accessing a network printer with AppleTalk is no different than accessing a printer when you don’t have a network. If more than one printer is available on the network, you use the Chooser to select the printer you want to use. Chooser displays all the available network printers — just pick the one you want to use. And keep the following points in mind:

  • Be sure to enable Background Printing for the network printer. If you don’t, your Mac is tied up until the printer finishes your job — that can be a long time if someone else sent a 500-page report to the printer just before you. When you enable Background Printing, your printer output is captured to a disk file and then sent to the printer later while you continue with other work.

    To enable Background Printing

    1. Choose Apple→Chooser desk accessory.

    2. Select the printer you want to use from the Chooser.

    3. Click the Background Printing On button.

  • Don’t enable Background Printing if a dedicated print server has been set up. In that case, print data is spooled automatically to the print server’s disk so your Mac doesn’t have to wait for the printer to become available.