Connecting Mac OS X to a Windows Printer

Here is how to connect Mac OS X (Tiger 10.4 or Leopard 10.5) to a printer that is attached to a Windows computer on a Windows network.

Scenario: You've got an existing network setup that includes a printer attached to a computer in a Windows network.

  • Your printer must already be shared on the Windows network.
  • Also find out the printer's shared name, the name of the computer that is on the Windows network, and the printer brand and model.
  • Be ready with your printer drivers for Mac. If you don't have them, try googling keywords like "Mac OS X printer driver for [insert brand and model here]" or "PPD drivers for [brand and model].
  • If the printer driver is not available, read number 5, below.

1. Install the printer drivers on your Mac.

2. Click the Apple icon and go to System Preferences > Print and Fax.

3. Under the printer list, look for the button with the plus sign and click that. This will pop up the Add printer dialog box.

4. Click IP Printer.

5. Fill the boxes using the following specs. In the items below, the values in bold represent sample names. Substitute your own computer names and printer names.

Protocol: Line Printer Daemon - LPD
Address: MyComputer
[Note: Do not add slashes. Just put the computer name. You may also use the IP address of the shared computer, but this is not recommended, specially if you use dynamic hosting or DHCP.]

Queue: MyPrinter
[Note: This is the shared name of your printer. You should find this in your Windows computer by looking at the properties of your shared printer]

Name: [The system will automatically fill this in.]

Location: Optional

Print Using: [This is where you enter your select your printer's model number. If you installed the driver beforehand, you should see it in the list. If the drivers are not available, try using Generic Postscript Printer].

6. Close and try to test print.

If this does not work out, you may try to install Gutenprint (just google it).

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