Browser-based Printer Management

Most Mac users are familiar with Appleis Printer Setup Utility for managing the various printers they use. Like so many things on your Mac, thatis not the only way to get something done. Thanks to the Common UNIX Printing System, or CUPS, foundation in Mac OS X, you can also use your Web browser to control your printers.

To access the browser-based CUPS interface, just launch your Web browser, type into the URL field, and press Return. Now you should see the CUPS printer management window.

The CUPS browser interface.

From here you can add and remove printers, manage print jobs, and manage printers. I occasionally run across stubborn print jobs that simply wonit print and for some reason deleting them from the printer spool window doesnit make them go away. In every case Iive come across, deleting the print job from the Manage Jobs option clears out the errant file.

I also like using the CUPS browser interface to output printer test pages. Instead of a page that is filled with graphics, text, and maybe some other items that Iim not all that interested in seeing at the moment, the CUPS printer test page is fairly basic. It prints a simple color wheel, a circle comprised of one degree radial lines, some basic information about the printeris imageable area, and software version data.

Print test pages from the CUPS browser interface.

You can find the Print Test Page option by choosing Manage Printers. If there is more than one printer in your list, find the one you want to print from, and click the Print Test Page button.

The CUPS Web browser interface may be basic, but it shows some of the hidden power that Unix brings to Mac OS X. It also works if Printer Setup Utility is damaged and wonit launch. Even better, itis already included with your Mac, so there isnit any extra software to download or purchase.

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