OSX: universally disable print
January 26, 2011 8:21 AM   Subscribe

About once a year, I actually want to print something. About once a day, I accidentally hit command-p when I'm trying to hit some other nearby key (command-o, command-[, etc.) I want this key combination to do nothing in any app on OSX. I can cancel the prints, but I want to prevent the print dialog from ever appearing. Ideally I'd like to do this in a way I could undo the few times I actually want to print. Is there some way to make this happen?
posted by scottreynen to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
If you only use your printer once a year, why not unplug it and stick it in a cupboard? Sounds like you're looking for a complicated solution to a simple problem, or am I missing something?
posted by MighstAllCruckingFighty at 8:23 AM on January 26, 2011


He doesn't want the print dialog box to even pop up. This is independent of whether the printer is plugged in or not.
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:29 AM on January 26, 2011


I don't know if this will work for every application, but try going to:

Options > Keyboard > Keyboard shortcuts

and add a shortcut for command-p to do something harmless ("Copy" seems to work for me). Is that enough?
posted by yaymukund at 8:30 AM on January 26, 2011


A little Googling gave me KeyRemap4MacBook, which does appear to do what you want. I've not tried it personally, though, and I'm not sure if it works on desktop Macs.
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:36 AM on January 26, 2011


I have a similiar problem with hitting command-Q in apps that I don't actually want to quit.

I've used approximately this solution, which shows you how to change which key-combo triggers that menu item. The article has screenshots of slightly older Mac OS-X, but it's close enough.

Since each app has different text for the Quit menu item, I've mapped command-9 to Quit [appname], so hitting command-Q does nothing anymore in those apps.

You can also change key combos for 'All Applications', so if you add a new key combo that you're unlikely to hit, say command-0 and give it the menu item name of Print... you're all set, command-P doesn't do anything any more.
posted by toddje at 8:40 AM on January 26, 2011


In instances where a system shortcut overlaps with something I want to use for other things (like the shortcut for switching to a different Space, for example) I take the least-used one and add another modifier key, so perhaps you can change cmd-P for print to something like shift-cmd-P or whatever. Still easy to get to, but harder to hit by accident.

(Oh. On Firefox that starts Private Browsing mode. Maybe try another modifier... ctrl-cmd-P seems safe...)
posted by caution live frogs at 9:03 AM on January 26, 2011


(Provided you actually find a way to change this. Adding a shortcut in All Programs for "Print..." doesn't do anything I can see.)
posted by caution live frogs at 9:08 AM on January 26, 2011


A little Googling gave me KeyRemap4MacBook
That looks promising, but doesn't seem to actually work. The button for importing custom settings doesn't do anything for me.
add a shortcut for command-p to do something harmless ("Copy" seems to work for me)
That worked great until I went to copy the quote above. That's when I discovered it removes the existing shortcut for whatever menu item you assign it to. I use copy a lot, so that won't work for me. I tried assigning it to a non-existant menu item, but that didn't work (still initiated print dialog).
The article has screenshots of slightly older Mac OS-X, but it's close enough.
Is that still possible in 10.6? I'm not seeing the Print command in there to change. Maybe that's more application-specific than Quit?
posted by scottreynen at 11:48 AM on January 26, 2011


Well, this seems silly to me, but you asked, so here you go:

System Preferences>Keyboard>Keyboard Shortcuts>Application Shortcuts. Add a new shortcut for Copy (or something similarly innocuous) and make it command-p. Yes, it's that simple.

You can assign shift-command-p to Print, but you need to do it twice - once for "Print" and another for "Print…" (make sure you use option+; for the ellipsis).
posted by O9scar at 12:12 PM on January 26, 2011


you don't want to assign command-p to something else, you want to assign another key combination (command-shift-option-p or whatever) to the 'Print...' (and maybe 'Print' and maybe 'Print…' with an ellipsis) command.

i just tested assigning a new shortcut to just 'Print...' (with periods) to 'All Applications' and it worked fine to prevent Command-P from doing anything in Safari, at least.
posted by jimw at 12:29 PM on January 26, 2011


you want to assign another key combination (command-shift-option-p or whatever) to the 'Print...'
That worked. Thanks!
posted by scottreynen at 1:22 PM on January 26, 2011


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