The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Working With Desktop Printers

TMO Quick Tip - Working With Desktop Printers

by , 7:30 AM EDT, August 23rd, 2006

For the most part, printing your documents is a process that hides in the background, dutifully churning out pages without much intervention on your part - but it doesn't have to be that way. If you are looking for an easy way to monitor what your Mac is printing, or don't feel like launching an application just to print one document, Desktop printers are for you.

The concept is simple: an icon for your printer sits on the Desktop. Double-clicking the printer icon shows you the printer's current status along with which jobs are printing or waiting to print. Dragging a document on to a Desktop printer icon sends your file to the corresponding output device - A handy trick if you regularly print the same forms or documents.


Desktop printers look like regular printers... on your Desktop.

Here's how to create a Desktop printer:

  • Launch Printer Setup Utility. It's hiding in Applications/Utilities.
  • Drag a printer from the Printer List window to your Desktop.


Dragging a printer from the list adds it to your Desktop.

Once your printer is on your Desktop, you can also start and stop its print queue, see a list of files you have printed, and check how much ink or toner you have left, all without launching Printer Setup Utility. Just double-click the printer icon to access its features.


You can access your printer's features from its Desktop printer icon.

To remove a Desktop printer, simply drag it to the trash. Your original printer stays in Printer Setup Utility's device list.

This Quick Tip was adapted from The Designer's Guide to Mac OS X Tiger.


if you have ideas for Mac related tips that you think other TMO readers might find helpful.

Recent TMO Headlines - Updated February 20th

Wed, 10:32 AM
iFixit: We Are All Geniuses, Advocates Right to Repair
Wed, 9:58 AM
That Anti-LGBT Emoji is Just a Glitch
Wed, 9:02 AM
New Apple Watch Video - 'Flight'
Wed, 8:37 AM
Universal Apps Could Include macOS
Tue, 5:58 PM
Going Back in Time 20 Years. What I'd Tell Myself as an Apple Customer
Tue, 3:17 PM
New Hermès Apple Watch Faces Coming with watchOS 5.2
Tue, 3:04 PM
YouTube Updates Strike Guidelines
Tue, 2:35 PM
Latest iOS 12.2 Beta Indicates AirPod 2 Siri Support, Subscription News Service Coming
Tue, 2:06 PM
Spielberg's Streaming Fears, Apple's Services Future – TMO Daily Observations 2019-02-19
Tue, 2:05 PM
These Macs Have an Audio Glitching Bug
Tue, 1:55 PM
Public macOS Mojave 10.14.4 Beta 3 Is Out
Tue, 1:24 PM
SoundCloud Artists Can Publish Straight to Apple Music
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!