An Explanation Of Apple Mac Hardware Usage

Add And Configure A USB Wireless Printer

In the previous section I showed you how to install the Canon MP495 Wireless Printer using its installation cd. Although it was installed successfully it wasn't automatically added to the MacOS operating system list of installed printers. The Wired (USB Cable) part of it was added (listed), but not the Wireless part. If the same printer was installed on a Windows computer it would of been added to its list of installed printers automatically, both as a wired (usb) printer and a wireless printer.

Anyway! Assuming you have installed the printer via the installation cd, the next step is to open SYSTEM PREFERENCES and click on the system preference (control panel) called PRINT & SCAN. Doing so will open the Print & Scan window (Fig 1.1) where you then need to click on its + (Plus/Add) button to begin the adding and configuration process.

Fig 1.0  Click on the PRINT & SCAN system preferences (control panel) icon to continue

Fig 1.1  Click on the + (plus/add) button to continue

Clicking on the + (plus/add) button opens the Add window (below) where you will see a list of installed (configured), and possibly connected, printers; such as in this example where the wired (usb cable) part of the Canon MP495 Wireless Printer is listed along with the PDFWriter Printer Driver (a program that emulates a printer whereby you can print a document and it gets saved as a pdf file).

The wireless part of the Canon MP495 Wireless Printer might not be listed at first simply because wireless devices in general can take a few seconds to appear, especially when you consider wireless signals dropping, but when it does appear in the list select it and then click on the ADD button. In this example the wireless part of the printer is known as: Canon MP495 series _A785C8000000.

Fig 1.2  Select your Wireless Printer and then click on the ADD button

After clicking on the ADD button OS X (Mountain Lion) then adds the wireless printer to its list of installed printers (Fig 1.4 below) whereby it can then be configured further or simply used AS IS; as a wireless printer ready to print.

Fig 1.3  The wireless printer is being added to the MacOS list of installed printers

Fig 1.4  The wireless printer is ready for action

Now that the printer has been added to the MacOS operating system, it can be configured from the Print & Scan window. You can change its Paper Size, Sharing options and currently used printer. However, you are better off changing these kind of settings and more advanced settings via the dedicated software that comes with the printer. The software that may of been installed from the installation cd (i.e. Scanner software and general Print software - See Fig 1.6 in the previous section).

If you want to share the printer with other computers in your house, perhaps wirelessly or through a network, you should put a tick next to the setting (preference) called SHARE THIS PRINTER ON THE NETWORK. You will not be able to change any settings, such as this one, unless you have the PadLock (security/authentication) icon open. If you do allow Printer Sharing you can check the sharing settings (preferences) by clicking on the SHARING PREFERENCES button.

Fig 1.5  Tick the SHARE THIS PRINTER ON THE NETWORK preference to allow Printer Sharing

Fig 1.6 below shows how easy it is to share or unshare a usb and/or wireless printer - It's just a case of ticking or unticking it from the list of printers. If you want to disable (switch off) the Print Sharing function simply untick the PRINT SHARING setting (preference).

Fig 1.6  Put a tick next to any, wireless, printers you want to share with other computers.

When you have finished with the PRINT & SCAN system preference click on its X (exit/close) button to continue. In the next example I will be printing a Microsoft WORD document.


For this example open up a Microsoft WORD document, click on its FILE menu and then select the PRINT menu-item (not shown here) to bring up the PRINT window. Don't worry if you haven't got Microsoft WORD installed as any text editor or photograph package with a PRINT option will do.

Fig 2.0  The PRINT window that appears after clicking on a document's PRINT menu-item/option

As you can see from the above example; there are many options you can change before printing, but for this example just click on the PRINT button to print the document.

Fig 2.1  The document is being printed

Depending on your particular printer you may or may not get some sort of clarification of the document you have just printed. In this example the document printed fine, but I did not get any screen clarification (i.e. pop-up notification) that it had printed (apart from the physical clarification of course!). However, if an error had occurred I would of received an error message via the Print Queue window. In this next example I printed a Test Page and purposely left the paper out.

Fig 2.2  This Test Page document cannot print due to no paper being in the printer

Fig 2.3  Clicking on the I (Information) icon reveals more information and helpful instructions

Now I have a choice. Put some paper into the printer or click on the X to the right of the blue progress bar (gauge) associated with the errored print job (Fig 2.2). If I want to check Ink Levels and general Maintenance settings (preferences) I can click on the OPTIONS & SUPPLIES button of the PRINT & SCAN window (system preferences).

The above Microsoft WORD 2011 document was printed wirelessly. If I wanted to print it as wired (with the usb cable plugged in), perhaps because my wireless router is not working, I would simply select the wired part of the printer from the PRINTER drop-down menu of the application I am using before clicking on it PRINT button.

Fig 2.4  Plug the printer's USB Cable into the computer to print a document as wired

The default printer can be set using the DEFAULT PRINTER drop-down menu located on the PRINT & SCAN system preference (Fig 1.5 above). By selecting a printer's name, as opposed to using the LAST PRINTER USED option, all Print windows (dialogs) from any application from that point onwards will use your chosen printer by default.