So you're working through a busy day, and you've got a ton of things to print, and MacPractice just doesn't seem to play nice with your printer. Either there's a very long delay before some items will print, or it won't print at all. What can you do?
First, it's important to note the boundaries of MacPractice Support. If the problem resides with the printer in all programs, not just MacPractice, we are unable to assist, and you would be better served with a Network Specialist or an IT familiar with printers and how they interface with your office's network.
However, if the problem resides just within MacPractice, oftentimes MacPractice Support will need to investigate to determine the cause of the printer problems. However, there are a few steps you can try initially.
Confirm the issue is only in MacPractice
With the same printer, you will want to print a file outside of MacPractice to determine whether the printer issue is solely within MacPractice.
Print an e-mail, a pdf, an image, a website, anything that is NOT a feature within MacPractice. If you aren't sure, you can always try printing this HelpDesk article right here! Simply hold the Command key and press "P" on your keyboard. This will bring up the print window. Double check to make sure the printer you are having troubles with is selected.
If this test print is successful, move on to the next step. If the test print was not successful, this indicates that there may be problems with either the printer itself or how the printer is connected to your network.
Have you tried turning it off and on again?
This question can be frustrating to hear, but it is truly the first troubleshooting step when trying to resolve most problems. Power down the printer, wait 15 seconds, and then power it back on. This will force the printer to re-initialize and it may perform better after the restart. Once you have completed this step, test your printer again within MacPractice and outside of MacPractice. If this is successful, congratulations! If not, move on to the next step.
Is the problem with just this printer, or is it all of your printing devices?
The next step to double check whether any other printer will work, or whether all printers on your network are suffering from the same problem. If you do have additional printing devices, give them a test print as well, both inside and outside MacPractice. If all of your printers are having issues, it could be indicative of a network problem, which would require the assistance of a Network Specialist or IT.
If it is just one printer, either the connection to the network for that printer is flawed somehow, or the printer itself is experiencing issues. If that printer still has issues printing to MacPractice, proceed to the next step.
Setting up a Generic Postscript Driver
The next step requires access to System Preferences. If you do not feel comfortable with adjusting System Preferences, we recommend you stop and consult with a IT or Network Specialist. MacPractice Support can also assist with trying this method.
Printers often have a "driver" that essentially handles how a device talks to the computer. Most of the time you never have to think about what driver a device is using, as most of these details are handled under the hood so to speak. What we are going to do is instead of utilizing a printer-specific driver, we are going to try setting up a Generic Postscript driver. This is just a different method that the computer will use when talking to the printer.
Go to System Preferences > Printers and Scanners.
Click on the small plus at the bottom of the sidebar.
This will bring up the Add Window.
What we are going to do is locate the printer we've been having trouble with, and "Add" the printer. In the Default section of the window, there will be a list of devices For example, if I have been struggling with the EDI HP 400 printer as shown in the above screenshot, I would seek out the same name and click it once. This will load up the details of this printer. It may take a moment for this to happen.
When the wheel has stopped spinning at the bottom of this window, you will want to rename the Name to something you can easily visually reference when selecting printers. For example, I would name this new device "EDI HP 400 for MP". This indicates that this device is only going to be used for MacPractice.
Next, click the "Use" drop down and select "Generic PostScript Printer".
Once done, click the Add button. It may take some time to configure the "new" printer. This new printer is essentially the same printer, just using a different driver to communicate.
Once this is complete, now test printing within MacPractice. Most of the time, this will resolve the problem, and all you will need to do is remember to select this "new" printer when printing from MacPractice.
If you continue to experience issues with printing inside of MacPractice after this step, please contact MacPractice Support so we can gather more information. If you still are having trouble printing in general from this device, we highly recommend you reach out to a Network Specialist or IT, as they will be able to assist you with your network configuration and determining what may be wrong.