How can I print from my Mac to a Windows network printer?
December 1, 2004 5:10 AM   Subscribe

Can you advise on printing to a Windows PC printer from a Mac OSX machine, over a network? [more inside...]

I have a Lexmark P707 printer, attached to a Windows XP computer by USB. It works fine. I have set it as shared on my local area network. I have also set up Print Services for Unix on the XP box just for good measure.

I have a pretty good feeling that another Windows machine would be able to see the shared printer. However, I am interested in printing to the Windows printer from my Apple Mac OS 10.3.5 machine.

When I try and add a printer, the Mac doesn't "see" the printer within the Windows Printing dialogue... nor can I seem to figure out the correct printer address to use in the UP Printing (LPD/LPR) area.

Lexmark won't help me on a networking issue, unfortunately. Google has some stuff on PC/Mac print networking but a lot of it is old and out of date. Has anyone figured this out? Is there some hack or workaround I could try? Many thanks for your help.
posted by skylar to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
I have this almost exact same setup at home with an older Epson printer and an iBook. It works, or it did last time I checked, but for the life of me I can't remember how I set it up. I will check as soon as I get home.

Have you set up Windows file sharing on the Mac? Can the PC and the Mac see each other?
posted by dual_action at 8:51 AM on December 1, 2004

Response by poster: Many thanks for your comment... the Mac can certainly see the PC fine and I use filesharing frequently. Have never needed to get the PC to see the Mac, though I imagine it would be possible. Will look forward to finding out how you made this happen. Thanks.
posted by skylar at 9:19 AM on December 1, 2004

Easiest way is to have both computers recognizing each other through a Windows SMB network. Meaning you'll have to configure Samba on your Mac. Once the Mac has a name on your network recognized by the PC, it's pretty easy to add the printer-- you just need to know the name of the network, the PC on the network and know the path to the printer.

I don't have a Mac, but I did this for a friend a couple of months ago. The Mac Samba interface is very easy to use.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:09 PM on December 1, 2004

Ok - here is how mine works (It does! I just tried):
On the PC:
Open Printer and Faxes, right-click the installed printer and choose Sharing. Choose Share this Printer and type generic name. Click OK.
On the Mac:
Open Printer Setup Utility and click Add. In the top menu, choose Windows Printing and in the bottom, the name of your network. The PC's name should appear below. Highlight it and click Choose. The Printer name should appear, click it and click Add. The printer should appear in the Printer Setup Utility.

Are these the steps you have already tried? If so - do you have a firewall installed? I'm running both the built-in OS X and XP SP2 firewalls without a problem so far. 90% of my file/printer sharing problems have been when I used Kerio, Sygate or one of the other firewalls.
posted by dual_action at 4:48 PM on December 1, 2004

A similar question. I have a powerbook running 10.3.6 connected via a wireless router on the same subnet as my PC running XP Pro SP2 with the printer connected via USB. The mac doesn't seem to see the printer through the network, although i can VNC to my PC just fine using the ip address. I think that i might need to set up an internal network username or something?

heelp! :)
posted by softlord at 9:01 PM on December 1, 2004

I remember doing this on my sister's ibook. There was one point where you had to hold down the apple key and press add (or maybe the command key, I don't remember.) This gave a slightly different menu that wasn't otherwise available.

Then, when you add the printer, its name will be smb://computername/printershare

or something like that. This was over a year ago (or around there) and I think she had OSX10.1 , so this may have changed.
posted by stovenator at 10:16 PM on December 1, 2004

According to you need to:

On OS X 10.2 (Jaguar), you can access a printer that has been shared on a Windows computer. Just follow these steps:

1. Launch Print Center
2. Hold down the Option key while clicking the Add button (in the Printer List window)
3. Select Advanced from the first pop-up menu.
4. Pick "Windows Printer via SAMBA" in the "Device" pop-up menu.
5. Enter whatever you want in "Device Name"
6. Enter the URI in "Device URI". The syntax is: smb://Server Name/Share Name
7. Pick the printer vendor from the Printer Model pop-up menu, and the subsequent model.

This is for OSX 10.2, so YMMV....
posted by stovenator at 10:42 PM on December 1, 2004

I don't know how much of a difference this makes, but I have given each of my machines a static IP on the network -,, etc.

My PC is connected by ethernet to a wireless router, the iBook uses an Airport Extreme card. Printer is connected to the PC via USB.
posted by dual_action at 6:06 AM on December 2, 2004

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