Printing from a Macintosh

Last revision October 15, 2013

All general-access printers in the School of Earth Sciences are directly connected to the computer network and will accept print jobs directly from your computer. You need to configure a print queue on your computer to connect via the network.

The CRC group that provides workstation support to Earth Sciences has created installation packages for many of the common general use printers in the School. You can find them by browsing these websites. There are separate installation packages for Windows and Mac OS X.

For other printers not covered by the CRC installation scripts, you generally setup the print queue on your Mac using the "Print & Scan" item in "System Preferences" (may be called "Print & Fax" on older versions of Mac OS X). Apple is very good about including the printer drivers for all recent printers. For some special purpose printers, you should install the print queue using the CD or program provided by the printer manufacturer.

Here are some tips for setting up the printer in the "Print & Scan" system preference.

  • Like all other preference settings, you first have to click the lock icon and provide an administrator account name and password before you can make any changes. Then you click on the plus (+) sign below the list of configured printers to add a new one.

  • Apple prefers to scan the network itself for printers that implement its "Bonjour" (previously called "Rendezvous") discovery protocol. We do not recommend connecting to printers this way. This only works for printers on the same local network, so if you move your computer to another building, or even use the wireless network within Earth Sciences buildings, you will no longer see the printer configured via Bonjour. Furthermore, the "Bonjour" name for the printer may not match the one everyone else uses and may just be a generic name so that it is difficult to distinguish one printer from another.

  • We recommend that you select the "IP" tab at the top of the add printer window so you can manually enter the normal network name for the printer that will work from anywhere on campus. The department network firewall blocks printer connections from off-campus unless you first login to the Stanford VPN.

  • You can enter the printer "hostname" or IP address in the "Address:" field. Hostname is recommended - IP addresses are sometimes changed by the network administrators. Ask around in your department to find out the hostname for the printer you want to use.

  • The "Protocol:" field defaults to "Line Printer Daemon - LPD". Use this for all printers except HP printers. For them, select "HP jetdirect - Socket".

  • There is generally no need to specify anything in the "Queue:" field.

  • You can enter anything you like in the "Name:" and "Location:" fields. The "Name:" value will be the name you see in the Print dialog box on your Mac. "Location" is just for your own purposes.

  • It is very important to select the correct printer type in the "Use:" field. For most printers, pick the "Auto Select" item from the drop-down menu and your Mac will contact the printer to automatically determine the printer type. If it does not find the printer type automatically, manually select it with the "Select Printer Software" item from the drop-down menu.

  • NEVER check the box labelled "Share this printer on the network"! All printers are already on the network. If you click this checkbox, your Mac will try to take over the network connection for this printer. That will force everyone else to print through your computer. You will be unhappy because your computer is bogged down, and everyone else will be unhappy when your computer goes offline and they can't reach the printer anymore!

The special printers for the Mitchell A65 and Mitchell A59 "GRID" computer clusters are restricted so that only the computers in those labs can print to them. Creating a print queue for them on your own computer will not work.

Need help getting your computer to properly connect to a printer? Fill out the request form at:

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