OS X: Make Your Own Printer Pool

| TMO Quick Tip

Have a couple printers you'd like to get more use out of, or maybe you don't want to have to ask which printer is available? No problem. Just make your own printer pool from your Mac.

A printer pool is a collection of printers that your Mac can automatically choose from whenever you need a paper copy of a document. Instead of you selecting a specific printer from a list of available output devices, your Mac does the work for you. It finds the first idle printer it can, and sends your document there.

Selecting the printers you want to group together shows the Printer Pool optionSelecting the printers you want to group together shows the Printer Pool option

To set up a printer pool, go to the Print & Fax preference pane in System Preferences, then click to select the printers you want to include on your pool (Shift-click to select printers that are together in your list, Command-click to select printers that aren't together). Now click Create Printer Pool and give your pool a descriptive name.

You can group any printers you like into a pool, but selecting printers that are the same model -- or at least similar models from the same manufacturer -- is a good idea since your output settings will have a higher likelihood of matching across output devices.

Your printer pool shows up just like any other printer, and you can share it, tooYour printer pool shows up just like any other printer, and you can share it, too

This is especially handy if you work in an office where your printers are in a different room since you don't have to check to see what's available before outputting a file. You can also use this trick to set up a simple print server by connecting several printers to one Mac, creating a pool, and then sharing it on your network.

To share a printer pool, or even just a single printer, select it from the Printers list in the Print & Fax preference pane, and then check Share this printer on the network. And there you go: A bonus tip. You're welcome.

[Want to see how to print a document from the Finder? We can show you how to do that, too.]

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It’s a cute idea. I tried it once to see if we wanted to deploy that setup to all our Mac clients. The problem is that it doesn’t tell you which printer it chose to send the job to.

So when you have four printers (same mode) scattered about the office, you’ll have to run from one to the other to see which one outputted your doc.

I suppose this is a good idea, however, if all your printers are together.



Think of the exercise you get, running from printer to printer looking for the last print job…

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