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Putting your favorite printers on the Desktop can help print files quickly--and in many cases, without ever having to open an application or fumble with printer options. Here’s how to make the magic happen on your Mac.
From your Dock, open System Preferences (you can also get there from the Apple menu). Click Print & Fax.
The familiar ol’ Preferences pane is the starting point of this operation.
Regardless of how many printers you have attached to your computer, you’ll find them all on the left side of the Print & Fax preferences window. Select the one you want to use for rapid printing and drag its icon onto the Desktop. Repeat for other printers as necessary. When finished, close System Preferences.
Start by finding the printer you want to use...
...then drag and drop its icon onto the Desktop.
Open Apple Mail and find an email you’d like to print an attachment from. Common attachments such as JPEG photos, text files from TextEdit, or even Preview-compatible PDF files are all candidates for direct printing. Click and hold on the attachment you want to print, then drag and drop it onto your new Desktop printer icon. The queue for your selected printer will open, and the file will print without launching an application or even presenting the printer options. The print queue remains open, but if you close the window, it will reopen as needed for each print job. With Thunderbird and Entourage, there’s another step—you have to copy the attachment to your Desktop, and then drag and drop it onto your printer icon. While we didn’t test other email clients, the same is likely to be true--we suspect that only Mail is this tightly integrated with OS X.
Why are we not surprised that Microsoft files don’t play nice?
From any iDevice running iOS 4.2.1, view an attachment, then tap the Send icon to reveal the printing option.