Friday, February 02, 2007

So you got that new printer, that does borderless printing...but you can't find out how?

UPDATE May 2007 This doesn't seem to apply with the latest drivers for Intel Macs. It looks like for those Epson figured out how to get the features into a single printer, where they belong. Unfortunately they didn't release the update for PowerPC Macs, which ALSO means you can't printer share from an Intel Mac (with one of these Epsons) to a PowerPC Mac because the printer driver need to be the same version. Ugh!END UPDATE

In Mac OS X, possibly the most convoluted configuration issue is printers that handle different or abnormal page sizes.

I own an Epson 2200 and an R200 (actually my R200 just died, and I'll be throwing it out but that's beside the point.) Both of these printers support borderless printing (and another mode called "minimize margins") as well as roll paper printing. However, after installing the printers, and going through every option in the Page Setup and Print dialogs, it looks like those features are not available in Mac OS X 10.4.

Well those features are available, they just aren't enabled by default. Apparently Mac OS X handles printers in a way that doesn't make it easy to change things like roll paper additions or differing hardware margins in a single printer. You'd think that would be handled just fine in the paper settings from the Page Setup dialog, but it isn't. It's possible this shortcoming is actually Epson's fault for how they implemented support for these features in their drivers, but no matter who is to blame, the configuration isn't obvious. You have to basically setup a different printer on the computer for each of these features that affects the paper margins and paths. So for example, instead of just having the R200 listed as an available printer, you'll have the R200 and the R200 "borderless" and the R200 "Roll Paper" etc. Of course, they are all the same printer, but to your Mac they all look like different printers with different capabilities and will be listed as different printers in your print dialog.

To get access to all these wonderful features, just follow these easy instructions:

You need to open the Printer Browser window. There are two ways to get to the Printer Browser:
Go under the Utilities folder under Applications and launch the Printer Setup Utility. Click the Add printer icon.
Inside the Print & Fax control panel inside System Preferences, select the printing tab and click the + symbol to create a new printer.

Either one of those steps bring up the Printer Browser:

At this point, your current Epson printer should show up in the Printer Browser. Now click More Printers...

In the drop down dialog sheet that appears click on the pop up menu at the top and select "Epson USB" (or "Epson FireWire" if you are using a printer with a FireWire connection like the 2200.) It takes a while sometimes for these dialogs to update as they are scanning the USB busses as well as searching every known printer driver installed on your computer.

At that point your printer should appear with the different features listed in the Page Setup pop up menu. For example, if you now select your Epson 2200 printer, under the Page Setup menu, you should see an entry for your 2200 with borderless printing, another entry for roll printing, etc.

Add any of the ones you want to have available or all of them. Then when printing, you have to choose which printer to use based on what features you want (they will all appear in your printer dialog as separate printers, and you can even designate one of them to be your default printer.) Oh and make sure you select them in both your Page Setup dialogs as well as your Print dialogs if you need features (such as special paper sizes) available. The Page Setup dialog will let you choose the larger paper types supported by roll printing, etc.

So there you go, now you can take full advantage of your expanded printer capabilities.


Pat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan said...

I just got a intel mini, and updated the OS to 10.4.10 You are correct about how to get to "borderless" printing - except there is no potion for "page setup" in this version! Adding a printer just gets the standard box with a list of Epson USB printers. CLick on the 2200 and no page set up options show up. What's going on?

Dan Younger

Dan said...

I just got a intel mini, and updated the OS to 10.4.10 You are correct about how to get to "borderless" printing - except there is no potion for "page setup" in this version! Adding a printer just gets the standard box with a list of Epson USB printers. CLick on the 2200 and no page set up options show up. What's going on?

Dan Younger

Dan said...

You are correct as to how to get "borderless" printing on a 2200 - except, it doesn't work. In the past, setting up my 2200, that's exactly what I did. Now I just upgraded to a Mini Intel machine, and downloaded OS 10.4.10. Now there is no "page set up" box in the "add printer" pop up box. I downloaded the "intel" 2200 driver as well, still no help. Got any suggestions?


mstokowski said...

Thanks! I had borderless working using the CUPS driver, but an upgrade to 10.4 broke it. Interesting, at one point the Epson drivers installed as separate printers automatically. I figured to download and install the latest drivers earlier this year. I ended up deleting the "borderless", "roll paper" etc. printers when I updated the driver. What a fool. Of course the better, older driver was not available anymore. You have saved me much frustration.

Beverly said...

Thank you SO much for your explanation. I'm on a Mac OSX 10.4.11 and have had a terrible time with my Epson 2200. It's crazy that you have to redo the set up each time and reset the paper type each time. Maybe the newer printers are more compatible with Macs?
Anyway I'm so grateful for your sharing this info.

D. Lindsey said...

This post is a godsend! Thank you!

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