Pooling Printers

If you work in an environment where lots of people are printing documents at the same time, you can end up waiting and waiting while every print job thatis ahead of yours comes out. Some offices use the low-tech approach of yelling out to ask if a printer is available. I prefer using a nifty little feature in Mac OS X called printer pools.

Printer pools work like this: If you have more than one printer on your network, or maybe a couple of printers that are similar, you can group them together in a printer pool. When you choose a pool instead of a single printer to output a document from any application, your Mac figures out which printer is available and sends your document there.

Hereis how to set up a printer pool:

  • Launch Printer Setup Utility. You can find it in Applications/Utilities.
  • Select the printers from the Printer List window that you want to add to the pool (Shift-click to select printers that are together in the list. Command-click to select printers that arenit together.).

  • Select the printers you want to pool.
  • Choose Pool Printers from the Printers menu.

  • The Pool Printers menu option.
  • Give your pool a descriptive name. I called mine "Laser Printers."

  • Give your printer pool a name that makes sense to you.
  • Click the Create button.

Printer pools appear in your Printer List just like any other output device, and they come in handy when you work in an office where everyone tends to be printing at the same time.

Printer pools look like other printer in your list.

Unfortunately, you wonit get any feedback telling you which printer your file went to. Youill have to get up and check each printer for yourself. Or, you could just yell out to ask if anyone has seen your printout.

This Quick Tip was adapted from The Designeris Guide to Mac OS X Tiger.

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