This article was first published on 2009-06-19. Due to the age of this article, it is included here for archive purposes only.
Last week’s article How Do I Print the Contents of a Folder? brought up a great Mac short cut, the Desktop Printer. This is an item from the pre-Mac OS X days to help manage your printing needs.
The idea is that you create an alias or short cut to your favorite printers on your Desktop much like you would have an alias of a folder, app or file. Now with Mac OS X, you can also do this in your Dock too.
There are 2 handy uses for Desktop Printers I can think of right off the top of my head. Hopefully you will share more ideas with us in the Comments Section below.
The first is quick access printing. The idea here is that you can drag a file onto the Desktop Printer and have the file launch and print one copy. It will print with the default settings for that printer. I find that this works best with files you aren’t fussy about about because you pass up the opportunity to adjust the print settings. It’s just click-drag and you’re done.
The second handy use is to print a listing of folder contents. You just drag a folder to the Desktop Printer and you’ll see a print dialog box on this one. Make your choice and you’ll have a print or PDF. Remember to select the folder, not all the files in the folder. If you do that, they will all get printed.
Here’s an example of what it looks like when you drag a folder to the Desktop Printer:
I still like to see the window frame and icons for aesthetic reasons for a folder or disk listings when using a screen shot, but this gets you the list quick and easy.
To create a Desktop Printer, just go to System Preferences > Print & Fax, and drag the printer from the left column where you want it. Simple as that.
To have a Dock Printer, just open the printer by double-clicking it in the Print & Fax box and then right-click the icon in the dock and choose Keep in Dock.
I prefer to have them in my Dock so the printers don’t get hidden by windows.
How about you? What tricks do you have when using a Desktop Printer? Share them with us in the Comments section below!