How do I configure a LAN printer on Mac OS X?
Dave, I know nothing about Mac print sharing/usage ... is there a good way to either use a networked printer, or perhaps use a printer connected to either the Mac or PC?
Networked printers (sometimes called "IP printers"), where they can plug directly into your router and operate independently of any individual computer, are a great improvement to home and small business local area networks.
Getting them set up should theoretically be pretty straightforward, particularly on the Macintosh, but my experience is that I've had to go through a few little fiddles to get things actually working properly.
The first step is to plug the printer into the LAN router and turn it on. Print out a diagnostics page which should include the IP address that the printer was assigned by your DHCP server (if you aren't running DHCP, things get a lot more complex. I strongly suggest that you switch to DHCP within your local area network)
On the Mac that you'd like to have work with the printer, launch the Printer Setup Utility (Applications -> Utilities -> Printer Setup Utility) and click on "Add". The dialog box that appears should offer quite a range of different ways to connect to the printer, as shown here:
You can try browsing for an IP printer, but in my experience that's never actually found my networked printers, so instead choose "IP Printer" and enter the four-digit IP address from the printer's configuration / test page. It should look something like this: 192.168.1.104. Enter it with the periods in the "Printer Address" box, then select your printer from the Printer Model pop-up.
The utility automatically assigns a printer name based on the IP address of the printer, which you can change to the printer name, a nickname, the location of the printer in your office, whatever you prefer. I always change mine to the name of the printer.
Click "Add" and the new printer should show up on your Printer List, as you can see my HP IP printer shows up here:
As an optional last step, you can select the printer and click "Make Default" to make it the new default printer for your Macintosh. Don't forget that you'll probably need to quit and restart your running applications for them to know about the new printer.
That should get you up and running!
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