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10.6: Set Printer Presets from the Terminal Printers
If you want to set the printer preset from the terminal in 10.6 (or from an AppleScript via a 'do shell script' command), it's different than how it's done in previous versions of OS X.

Assuming you have a printer called 'Copy Room Printer' and a preset called 'double-sided, stapled,' you would run the following two commands:
defaults write 'double-sided, stapled'

defaults write 3
Just set the parameters to match your own needs.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. If this works in Lion or you find an equivalent, please post it in the comments.]
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Identify the print jobs in the queue Printers
If you double-click a print job in a printer's queue, it will open a Quick Look window showing the printing preview of that job. Especially useful when the file names don't have descriptive titles.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. Simple, fun, and I would not have guessed to try this.]
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Accessing advanced printer features when batch printing Printers
I have several hundred PDF documents that I need to print. The documents are multi-page, and our printer can staple. However, if I try and batch print by dragging the PDFs onto a desktop alias of the print queue, I have no access to the advanced printer dialogs. If I open all the PDFs in Preview, I can get to the staple setting, but I have to visit the printer dialog box for each and every PDF.

I posted this problem on the Apple Support Community, and received the following tip from user Pahu. It works great with Snow Leopard, and I suspect earlier versions of OS X. Pahu writes: Desktop printers don't give you the ability to modify printer setting so you will need to set the option in the PPD.

Using the CUPS printer page ( you could modify this printer so that stapling is permanently enabled. From the CUPS page select the printer and then change the Administration drop menu to Set Default Options. Then select the General link and scroll through until you find the stapling setting. With it enabled then scroll to the bottom of this page and click 'Set Default Options' to save the change.

I've seen several requests around the web for this solution, so I thought I'd share it here as well. This will save me hours of time on this project and in the future.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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Print through a Buffalo Link Station Printers
This is a hopefully simple process for getting a mac to print through a Buffalo Link Station storage unit, firmware version 1.37. I'm offering this here because it's taken me over two hours and many different tries with different sets of instructions I found searching the web.

This is the result of what I learned:

First go into System Preferences » Print & Fax and click the '+' to add a new printer. Once this opens, select the Windows tab. Using the panels in that tab, navigate to your Link Station print server, it should show up as an 'lp' printer in the far right.

Name your printer, add its correct drivers and finish.

Before this worked for me I did install Gutenprint 5.2.6; I'm not sure if that had anything to do with making this work. This may be one of many solutions, and it may or may not work in all cases; there are a lot of variables involved.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one, but I can vouch for the difficulties of setting up and printing through some of these third party print servers and multifunction NAS devices.]
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Reset existing printers to use with Airport Printers
If you have a USB printer that is already set up on your Mac, and try to use it as an Airport wireless printer, you may find that it doesn't work. The printer may show up in 'Printers' in the Airport Utility, but it just won't print. The solution is simple.

Go to the System Preferences » Print & Fax preference pane, and click on the printer in question. On the right, you'll see that the 'Location' is your machine name.

Thats's the problem. The printer is no longer connected to your Mac, so the printer can't be found. Unfortunately, there's no way to reset the location of the printer.

Delete the printer, then click the '+' underneath the printer list to re-add it. When you click the 'Default' tab, you will now see your printer name, and 'Kind' will say 'Bonjour' -- in other words, it's now recognized as a network printer, instead of being directly attached.

Click on the printer in the list, and the information below will fill in, including the 'Location' now being your Airport's name. Click 'Add' and it will work.

This is never stated in quite this way in Apple's setup or troubleshooting documentation. They do tell you how to reset the printing system entirely, but that wipes out all your printers. You don't need to do that, you only need to reset the printer you want to use on your Airport.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. Although it's certainly possible to get a printer working connected to an Airport base, I've never been all that enamored of the idea. Partly because, in order to get maximum range, I often place my Airport in an elevated position in the room. That makes it pretty hard to connect a printer.]
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Use VipRiser as CUPS-PDF replacement Printers
The VipRiser has the same basic functionality as the CUPS-PDF (described in this earlier hint) printing package has, but it is more user friendly and easier to install. You can download the installer here.

Once installed, there's both an application (named VipRiser) and a print driver. You need to create the virtual printer in System Preferences » Print & Fax before using it the first time. Just hit the plus sign and add it. The installer walks you through this. The new printer is named 'Print to VipRiser' and once installed, you just select it like any other printer. The VipRiser application has to be running or the virtual printer will be paused, so you may want to put the application in your Login items.

The VipRiser has some fancy features such as sync with your iPad or DropBox, but you don't have to use them at all. The trick is to select regular folder instead of the DropBox one, where all output files will be stored. You can also use AppleScript or Automator workflows as plugins to do any custom processing. (e.g. upload files to a server).

[crarko adds: I tested this on 10.6.4, and it works as described. I needed to reboot to get it to print after installation, but thereafter it was good. I used both the Dropbox and iPad (also iPhone) destinations. I've mirrored the download here, but check the original source in case there are updates.]
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HP all in one now can scan Printers
I was having problems with my HP PSC 2110 all-in-one printer and in the process of troubleshooting was tinkering with the System Preferences for it. I just randomly clicked on the Scan button and the clicked Open Scanner. Up popped a scan window with 'Scanner is warming up.' Then it showed a preview window and a Scan button. I was completely blown away. I have been trying to get this scanner to work with Leopard and Snow Leopard for years.

This was after applying the most recent HP Printer Drivers v.2.4.1 for Mac OS X v10.6 update, so that is likely the fix.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. It's nice to see the functionality returned to multi-function printers, even if it takes quite a while to happen. Remember to try the latest driver updates when they come out.]
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10.6: Faxing with HP Color LaserJet 2840 Printers
Snow Leopard only hintIf you use the HP Color LaserJet 2840 All-In-One printer and are unable to Fax through it in Snow Leopard, here is a possible solution.

Faxing used to work fine with this device in 10.5 (Leopard), but the CUPS drivers built in to Snow Leopard for it don't support faxing correctly. So the working 10.5 drivers from HP are the place to begin.
  • Install the 10.5 drivers for this printer available from HP.
  • Configure your printer (I used an ethernet connection).
  • Edit /etc/cups/printers.conf in your favorite text editor and change the device uri to:
    DeviceURI HPLaserJetFax://socket://HP%20Color%20LaserJet%202840.local.?vendor=Hewlett-Packard&product=HP%20Color%20LaserJet%202840
  • Change the owner of /usr/libexec/cups/backend/HPLaserJetFax
    sudo chown root:wheel /usr/libexec/cups/backend/HPLaserJetFax
  • Restart CUPS
    sudo killall -HUP cupsd
  • Send a test fax from your Mac.
It should be working normally again at this point.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. Snow Leopard did break a few multi-function printers and I wonder if a similar fix could be found for others.]
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10.6: Enable dot matrix printing in Snow Leopard Printers
Snow Leopard only hintWe are printing to Dot Matrix printers on Macs with Snow Leopard in our office, and the method used to make them work varies with the printer.

With an OKI Microline 1190 we connected it directly using a normal USB-2 cable and it works perfectly. Do not use a USB hub, or printing may be unreliable. Choose the 'Oki 24-Pin Series' printer driver in the Print & Fax » Add Printer Preference panel and it will work. [crarko adds: This driver appears to be installed by default in Snow Leopard.]

With an Epson LQ680 Pro we connectted it using a USB to IEEE 1284 parallel printer adapter and selected the printer driver 'Epson LQ680'. Again, use a direct cable connection with no hubs. [crarko adds: This driver did not appear in my Add Printer list, but an equivalent Gutenprint driver should be installed on demand when you connect the printer, according to Epson. You may need to download this Epson Printer Drivers update from Apple.]

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. There is also an earlier hint which talks about printing to serial and AppleTalk printers.]
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Customize printing from any application Printers
I've occasionally found that it's not possible to customize printing (e.g. double-sided, two pages per sheet, etc.) in some applications (Eudora, for one). The extra options simply aren't available in the Print dialog box.

I discovered a relatively simple solution to this problem: Just open any file with an application that allows such customization (Word, Acrobat Pro, etc.), customize the print settings as desired, and then cancel printing.

Now you can go back to the troublesome application and choose Last Used Settings from the Presets pop-up menu, and the system will use the more-complete settings from the other application.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one, as most of the apps I use have the full print dialog available.]
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