Author or Editor: Scott Stewart - Edit

Printing and Scanning at Home on a Mac

The question of using a personal device to print and scan at home has come up. The following document is meant to provide some tips and and guidance on setting up a home printer and/or scanner.

Adding a Printer

Most printers/scanners made in the last few years have drivers built into the Mac OS or the Mac OS will detect and download what is needed. To add a printer, simply go under the  to System Preferences…

System Preferences

Once there, click the Printers & Scanner preference pane icon to open it. At this point, you will see a list of installed printers on the left side of the window.

Printers & Scanners

If you plug the printer in via USB, the computer should pop a dialogue box up asking if you want to install the driver for your printer.

Click Install and wait for the process to complete. If your computer is not plugged in to power, it may ask you to confirm that you want to download and install on battery power. So long as you have more than 10 minutes of battery left go ahead, otherwise plug the computer into power.

If your printer is capable of wireless printing and you don’t have a USB cable or don’t want to plug it in, you can add the printer manually. Follow the above steps to get into the Printers & Scanners preference pane and click on the + sign under the list of printers.

Clicking Plus to add printer.

Once the Add window comes up, your printer should be listed as an available option. Click on your printer, then make sure AirPrint is selected under the Use selection box.

Adding printer and selecting AirPrint

You can now print to this printer and use it as a scanner if it is a multi-function device.


To scan using a multifunction device, make sure it is added as described above. Scanning can be accomplished in a couple of ways. You can scan directly from the Printers & Scanner Preference pane. To do this, go under the  to System Preferences and select the Printers & Scanners preference, as described above. Select your printer from the list at the left and you should see your printer come up on the right with two tabs, Print and Scan. Select Scan and then click on Open Scanner.

Select Scan for your printer in Printers & Scanners preference pane.

This will bring up the Scanner window.

Scanner window.

From this window you can pick the destination, the size, and whether you want to use the document feeder, if your scanner has one. You can also Show Details for more scanning options.

Advanced options in Scanner window

From the details window, you can select all the previous options plus pick the Format you want your scan to be (PDF, JPEG, BMP,…), the Orientation of the original, Resolution, and Kind(Color, Grayscale, Black and White,…). You can also name the document, select duplex (if your device is capable), and combine multiple scans into a single PDF.

Another way to scan is using Preview. Open Preview by going to the Applications Folder(Command⌘-Shift-A from the finder), or use Spotlight to search for Preview(Command⌘-Space) and open it.

Spotlight Search
Searching for Preview

Once Preview is open, go under the File Menu and Select Import from Name of Printer.

Import from ... in Preview

This will bring up the Scan Window

Scan window in Preview.

From here you can scan as described above.


  • If I buy a printer for home use can I later bring it to school and use it as a networked printer?
    • The only printers that can be connected to the network at an SVVSD site are the ones listed on the technology store. That being said, you can connect a USB printer directly to your computer at your SVVSD location.
  • What if I can’t get my printer setup?
    • Please call the Help Desk at 303-702-7730 and they can assist you in installing the drivers or create a ticket for your site’s tech to assist you with this.


Last updated by stewart_scott on 2020-03-24 11:30:18

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