How to Print on Mac Computers (MacBook Air/Pro, iMac)

We all love a paperless world, but we’re not there yet, unfortunately. This means every once in a while, you have to take printouts. To do this, you have to connect your MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or iMac to a printer and proceed with the Print command.

Unlike some other Operating Systems, macOS has integrated the Print function to almost every section. You can go to the File menu and find the Print command in most Mac apps. I mean, you can even take a printout of your calendar. However, if you recently moved from Windows or Linux, the whole printing process could be a confusing affair.

In this article, we have covered everything you should know about how to print on Mac computers. On top of the print command, we will talk about the advanced printing options, room for customization, and a few words on compatibility.

Using Printers on Mac

Just like other PCs and Linux, Mac computers also support wired and wireless printing. However, you cannot expect every printer to be compatible with Mac. In fact, printer manufacturers explicitly mention if a printer would work with macOS. So, if you plan to get a printer, you should consider if the model supports macOS.

So, for the whole length of this article, we will be talking about two ways to print from a Mac:

  1. Wireless printing (via AirPrint)
  2. Wired Printing (via USB)

AirPrint is probably the easiest way to print documents/images wirelessly from your Mac computer. You do not have to worry about drivers or installation. Instead, you can connect an AirPrint-compatible printer to the same Wi-Fi network that you have connected your Mac to. After an incredibly easy setup process, you can start printing from Mac without the hassle of cables.

Apple AirPrint

Wired printing via USB is also standard. In this case, however, your Mac might not have built-in support for the printer. You will have to download and install the corresponding drivers before connecting the device to your Mac. Besides, if you have one of the new MacBook Pro or Air models, you’ll probably need a multi-port adaptor as well. Once you have set up the printer, however, you can enjoy seamless printing from any of the apps you use on Mac.

We do not want to take you through the printer installation process, since it varies according to the printer model and manufacturer. At the same time, if you have done everything right, you can see an AirPrint-based printer as soon as you open the printing dialogue box. Now that you know the basics, shall we check on how to print from a Mac?

How to Print on Mac?

We are going to show you how you can print a document from Microsoft Word. But you can follow the same procedure to print photos, documents, etc.

Step 1: You have to open the document that you want to take the printout of. Now, you have to go to the File menu and choose Print from the options.

Select Print from File menu on Mac

Alternatively, you can press Command + P.

Step 2: You can now see the print dialogue from Mac. As you can see, many options are available on the screen.

Print copies & pages on Mac computer

From the drop-down menu next to Printer, you have to select the printer that you want to take the printout through. If your Mac doesn’t detect the AirPrint printer, you should confirm if it’s online. Similarly, if you do not find the USB printer on the list, you should recheck the drivers.

Print layout options on Mac computer

You can also choose a Preset, which will dictate the printing preferences. However, at any point in time, you can change aspects like Copies & Pages, Layout, and Paper Handling. There may also be app-specific controls you can explore. In the case of Microsoft Word, you can control what to print, how to print, and some other advanced options like print order.

Print Microsoft Word options on Mac computer

Mainly, though, you can control the number of copies, page range and have a preview of the document. You can also explore the Print to PDF options if you are interested.

Step 3: Once you have confirmed these values, you can click on the Print button. Depending on the printing capacity and speed, you should have the document ready in a few seconds or minutes.

Tada! You have successfully printed from a Mac computer.

Some More Things to Note

Here are a few more things you should know before printing from a Mac computer.

Advanced Details

Depending on the app you print from, you may see a Show Details button on the Print dialogue box. Here is how you can manage the values in the box.

  • Copies: This refers to the number of copies you need.
  • Pages: You can select the pages you want to print from this section. You can either print all pages or select the page range.
  • Paper Size: You can control how your printout looks by choosing the ideal paper size. macOS would show you the live preview of the paper size that you prefer.
  • Orientation: You can choose between Landscape and Standard orientations for the printout.
  • Scale: This option allows you to control how the printed content appears on paper. You can choose the Scale to Fit option or provide the percentage value. For instance, if you choose 50%, the print will take up only half of its actual size.
  • Layout & Paper Handling: You can also control how many pages appear on a sheet and other options in the corresponding interfaces.

As you can see, macOS shows you all the options to control how the printout looks in the end. If you want to explore the additional options with their entirety, you can check this official guide from Apple.

PDF/Other Options

You can use the Print dialogue box to save a document to other formats as well. Some of the options are:

save document to other formats using Print dialogue

  • Open in Preview
  • Save as PDF
  • Save to iCloud Drive
  • Send in Mail

You can use the first two options to convert documents into PDF. This is similar to the Print to PDF function from Google Chrome, but this works on all apps.


As you have seen, printing on a Mac computer is easy and breezy. Things become even more convenient if you have an AirPrint-enabled printer connected to your MacBook Pro or iMac. You just have to ensure that you select the right settings and values so that you don’t waste paper.

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