Windows 7 Printer Share with Mac OS X

Naturally, Windows 7 (Pro, at least) doesn’t play nicely on a Mac OS X network environment out of the box.  As far as I can tell, Windows 7 doesn’t utilize IPP, which Linux and Mac employ for printer sharing.

The situation: I wanted to print from my Mac laptop to my printer connected to Windows 7. To do this, I had to enable a feature disabled by default.

In Control Panel, have a look at Programs and Features. Then look under Turn Windows features on or off. Under Print and Document Services, check LPD Print Service to install and turn on this service, which will allow sharing your Windows 7 attached printer across your network.

Additionally, you need to specify to Windows the printer(s) you would like to share.  From the Start menu or Control Panel, select Devices and Printers. Right-click on the printer and select Printer Properties.  Under Sharing, select Share this printer and give it a share name without spaces.

On your Mac (the client), go to System Preferences then Print & Fax. Click the + to add a new printer. Under Advanced, set the Type as LPD/LPR printer. For the URL, enter lpd://ip_address/share_name/

For example, lpd://192.168.1.1/laserjet/

You may try using your machine’s name instead, but I had better luck using my IP address. If your IP address is dynamic and changes, this would obviously cause a problem. Select the correct driver based on your printer model, and give it a go!

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