Printing to a Shared PC Printer

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This article describes how to print from Mac OS X to a shared printer connected to a Windows XP machine. It assumes the computers are already networked and that you can access the PC's files. These instructions are relevant for Mac OS X 10.2 upwards. The instructions may work with Vista. I don't have the means to try it.

  1. Find the IP address of your PC - go on Start > Run. Type in cmd and click run. Now type in ipconfig /all and hit enter. This should give you the machine's IP address.
  2. Share the printer. Open up Printers and find the one you want to share. Right-click and choose Share. Now click the 'Share this printer' radio button. Now choose a sharing name. Keep it simple - e.g. HP, Office, PC etc.
  3. Open a web browser on your Mac and type localhost:631 in the address bar
  4. You should now have the Common UNIX Printing System web interface up. Click the 'Add Printer' link.
  5. Type a name for the printer, making sure you don't include /, # or space characters. Click continue.
  6. Select Windows Printer via SAMBA from the Device list and click continue.
  7. For the URI, you need to include a username and password for an account on your PC. You then need to enter a URI in the following format: smb://username:password@ipaddress/printer. So for example smb://johndoe:password@192.168.1.7/HP
  8. Choose your printer's make, or if you have a PPD file for the printer, choose that. Click continue and choose your printer's model. Now click Add Printer.
  9. Done! You now have a list of options for changing the various properties of the printer.

You don't need to be on the same workgroup or domain as your PC, just the same subnet. If both your Mac and PC are connected to the same router, either wired or wirelessly, then you should be on the same subnet.