How to Print on a Mac With Photos

Printing documents, photos and more is an essential task for most Mac users. As you likely know, Macs make printing straightforward thanks to built-in drivers and system-wide print menus.

But simply clicking "print" doesn‘t always yield optimal or efficient results. To become a printing pro, mastering printer setup, customizing output, and troubleshooting issues is key.

In this detailed guide, let‘s walk through exactly how to print on macOS, with handy tips tailored to photo printing. Follow along to level up your Mac printing abilities!

Why Bother Learning to Print?

You may rarely need to print from your Mac, relying instead on digital copies. But for those key times printing is necessary, frustration sets in if you don‘t know the ropes.

Consider these stats:

  • 78% of Mac owners have an all-in-one printer/scanner according to 2021 survey data [1]
  • The average household prints over 100 pages per month [2]

And while mobile printing conveniences abound, over 50% of print volume still comes from laptops/desktops because of output flexibility and quality.

Common printing needs Mac users face:

  • School/work reports
  • Photos from apps like Photos or Lightroom
  • Documents, spreadsheets
  • Travel itineraries
  • Web content reading easier on paper
  • Creative output like cards, calendars

Getting to know your printer inside out pays off whenever you need physical copies!

Step-by-Step Guide to Printing from a Mac

Below I‘ll walk you through core printing tasks step-by-step:

Connect a Printer to Your Mac

Like any add-on device, a printer must be paired with your Mac via cable or wireless.

For wireless printers, ensure it‘s on the same WiFi network as your Mac. USB printers connect directly to an open USB-A port.

To add printers in macOS:

  1. Navigate to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Printers & Scanners
  2. Click "+ Add Printer or Scanner"
  3. Select your model from the list or add manually via IP address
    • Note connectivity type shown – wireless vs USB
  4. Click "Add" and installation begins automatically

You‘ll know setup succeeded when print jobs appear!

Access System-Wide Print Functions

Once connected, your printer works directly within any app using the standard Print menu:

To open printing options, use:

  • Menu Bar > File > Print
  • Keyboard shortcut: Command(⌘) + P

A print window opens with settings to tweak before final output. This works universally across macOS regardless app or file type.

Common controls here include:

Printer: Select between available connected printers

Presets: Choose from app-defined print preconfigurations like Word‘s "printer-friendly" mode

Pages: Enter specific page ranges to print

Copies: Designate number of copies

Paper Size/Type: Accommodate various paper sizes like letter or legal

Orientation: Portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal) layout

Two-sided: Conservation mode printing on both sides

Use Handy Print Keyboard Shortcuts

For ultra quick access, use these system shortcuts:

Command + POpen Print Menu
Shift + Command + POpen Page Setup to adjust margins,scale etc

Pro tip: Add Option key to shortcuts for previewing before printing.

Print Specific Sections

Don‘t want to waste paper and ink printing full documents? Easily print selections:

  • To print text snippets, highlight first before print menu access via Command + P

  • On print window under Pages, limit page range – helpful for web printing

  • Try Booklet layout to print subsection pages ordered as sets

Fine-tune Printer Options for Quality Results

Diving into printer settings pre-print guarantees better output – especially helpful for complex jobs like photos.

Here are key options to check:

Printer Model Settings

Color/GrayscaleMatches document contents best
Print QualityHigher quality = better prints but slower speed
Page OrderForward or back page ordering

Paper Handling

Paper SizeLetter, legal, etc
Media TypePlain, photo, glossy paper
CollationAssemble multiple copy sets
2-sided PrintingBind pages on short or long edge

Get to know specialty settings for different file types too – Photos app offers various photo arrangements for prints, for example.

Print Photos Like a Pro

Photographs deserve tailored handling to replicate all the intricate color and detail of digital copies.

Follow this formula for frame-worthy photo printouts:

  1. Open image in Apple Photos: Access robust printing powers here
  2. Check print scale: Increase if too small or crop to best fit frame
  3. Layout: Choose from 2-up, collage and more
  4. Print Quality: Select high quality mode
  5. Enable corrections: Auto fixes like red-eye reduction
  6. Paper: Photo paper strongly recommended!
  7. Print ➡️ Professional photo prints!

Troubleshooting Common Print Problems

Despite macOS printing prowess, tech hiccups still pop up. Don‘t panic! Many common issues have quick fixes.

Printer Offline? Not Found?

If your Mac can‘t detect the printer, first confirm power and connectivity. Then try:

  • Re-add printer in Printers & Scanners preferences
  • Verify modern macOS version with latest drivers
  • Check security/firewall tools blocking connectivity

Certain Pages Won‘t Print

If you suspect page exclusions misconfigured:

  1. Access printer properties by clicking Printer name in menu
  2. Check if only even/odd pages set
  3. Disable manual page exclusions under Print Settings tab

Grainy Quality? Light Text?

First verify appropriate paper choice. Then:

  • In Print menu, choose Best quality mode for clarity
  • Open print queue to delete stuck jobs by clicking printer icon
  • Head to Printers & Scanners to run diagnostic tests

With consistent printer upkeep, you‘ll get great results. But don‘t hesitate reaching out to the vendor for replacement parts if needed.


As you‘ve learned, while printing from a Mac is fairly straightforward, optimizing the process takes knowledge of formatting documents, adjusting printer properties, and troubleshooting issues as they arise.

Now you have the complete guide to printing from macOS! Refer back whenever you need a quick refresher on core concepts like finding print menus, keyboard shortcuts to save time, sizing images and troubleshooting printer connectivity.

With this newfound expertise, get ready to start printing documents, spreadsheets, photos and more with total confidence. Your Mac makes it simple – but you take it to the next level with the tips and tricks we covered today.

Let me know if any other Mac printing questions come up!

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