The default settings for your printer on a Mac, can be edited with CUPS (an open-source printing system Apple uses that allows you to configure a printer on a Mac).

Before you continue, your printer should have already been setup and listed in your Printers & Scanners in System Preferences.

Once you've confirmed your printer has been added, open your internet browser and copy and paste the following address into your browser's address bar:

http://localhost:631/printers

If you receive a "web interface error” you must configure your Mac to allow access to CUPS. You can do this in seconds with the Terminal utility app. You can skip the next step if you are able to access CUPS.

Enable CUPS in Terminal

Open Terminal using the Spotlight Search in the righthand corner of the Menu Bar.

Copy and paste the following command into Terminal: 

cupsctl WebInterface=yes

Then hit Enter, and CUPS is enabled!

Quit Terminal and go back to your internet browser.

Refresh the page, or again copy and paste the address:

http://localhost:631/printers

Set Default Options

You should now see a list of your printers.

Click on the printer you wish to edit. For this example, we are configuring the Zebra ZP 450:

Click the Administration drop-down menu and choose Set Default Options.

You may have to authenticate, whereby you'll use your computer's username and password.

Next, the option names will depend on the driver you installed and vary widely. Typically you’ll start off in General Options.

Change Media Size to match your label size. This will likely be a 4x6” option, but 100x150mm is acceptable too.

Do not click Set Default Options just yet. Continue by selecting Printer Settings at the top.

In Printer Settings, you should have options to :

  • Change your Darkness settings if your labels aren’t printing dark enough
  • Change your Print Rate that is optimized for your printer and workflow. 
  • Lastly and importantly, if there is a Dither option, make sure it is set to None—if this is not an available option, try a setting for barcodes or text only.

Now you can click the Set Default Options button, and your default options have been set!

Note:

If you lack Printer Settings options, and you need to change darkness, print rate, or fix fuzzy labels with a dither option, you probably have installed a minimal driver that does not give you these options. Most manufactures provide free drivers, but sometimes (often the case with specific Zebra printers) free quality drivers are lacking. For an all inclusive option that works, consider purchasing Pelican's driver software for Mac thermal printers.

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