Buying a new printer is not the expensive task it used to be – prices have dropped exponentially over the years. Their performance is also generally much better than it was even a few years ago. As a result, finding the right printer for a Mac is much easier, though there are still issues with OS X compatibility. Here are a few tips to help you in preparing to find the right printer:
1) Understand what is meant by Support
There’s a good chance that a new printer will hook up and work right away, but if the model is a bit older or second hand, look carefully at what Mac logo it’s sporting. A printer intended to be compatible with OSX will have one of two logos: the older Finder one that uses the word ‘Mac’, or the newer Universal one. It’s important to understand, though, that it’s not Apple that’s certifying compatibility, but the manufacturer.
2) Match your version of OS X
If the printer does not have a Universal logo, you need to make sure that the right drivers for your MAc are included. It’s also wise to check that your OS X version is a close match for the one supported by the printer. You can usually find this on the printer’s box, or in the manual.
If you’re not sure what version of OS X you have, go to the Apple menu and select About to check. Be especially careful if the printer supports a more recent version than yours. If the printer’s version is older, you’re less likely to have problems, as Apple does try to maintain backwards compatibility.
3) Check with the source
If you can’t tell if the printer is compatible with your OS X, Apple has a list of printers on their website that they provide drivers for. if your printer’s on the list, you can probably just plug it in and add it to your printer list. If the printer isn’t listed on the site, you may need to get a third-party driver from the manufacturer.
4) Check with the manufacturer
Most manufacturers have support websites, where you can check for drivers that will support your OS X version. This is especially important for models that combine multiple functions, such as faxing, scanning, and printing.
5) Check the Internet
If you don’t have any success elsewhere, try a Google search. With the right keywords, you could get some useful results. Make sure to use the exact model number.
Your best resource on the Internet is other users. Try looking in places like MacWorld forum, where you are sure to find experts in all things Mac who will be able to help you find the answers you’re looking for.