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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.

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