Amazingly Fast Printing Technique

You may or may not know that the quickest way to open a file on a Mac is to simply drag and drop the data file (Word document, image, etc) on top its corresponding application icon on the system Dock. For example, if I wanted to open an image for editing in PhotoShop, I would just drag the image file onto the PhotoShop icon. The icon bounces for a second, then the image comes to life inside of PhotoShop. It's that easy.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could do the same thing with printing? Good news... you can! Just drag and drop any document onto a printer icon (on the Dock), and the document prints. No need to open the document first or muddle through all the advanced printing controls. This can drastically reduce your time when sending a lot of print jobs to your printer.

In order for this to work, your printer needs to be found on the Dock. There are two ways to do this: 

  1. As a print job is being sent to the printer, you will notice that the printer shows up on the dock long enough to give you the status of that job, then it disappears. Before it disappears, right-click on the icon, then go to Options > Keep in Dock.
  2. If you aren't currently printing a document, go to System Preferences > Print & Scan. Now double-click on the printer you want to add to the Dock (this will open the print queue for that printer as well as put the icon on the Dock). Right-click on the pritner icon on the Dock, then go to Options > Keep in Dock.

Now that you have your printer on your Dock, the only thing left to do is print. Find a document you want to print, then drag and drop that file on top of the printer icon in your Dock, and watch it print. It's that easy!

Here's a short video showing you both steps: 1) adding a printer to your Dock and 2) printing a document using fast printing. 

 Note: this method of fast printing does not support the advanced printing options that you would normally be able to access if you were to print from within the app. If you want that level of advanced control, you would still need to print from within the app (this is where you would find the controls).

Posted on February 14, 2014 and filed under How To, Mac.