Get AirPrint working On Your Mac….With Any Printer Using Printopia!

When apple announced they were adding airprint to iOS 4.2, I was as excited as many others were that I would finally be able to print from my iphone to a network attached printer…….well I was disappointed!! When the upgrade was released, it was designed to only work with certain wireless printers and not network or usb attached printers. Here is the list of available wireless printers that will work with the 4.2 (4.2.1) update out of the box: 

  • HP Officejet 6500A e-All-in-One
  • HP
    Officejet 6500A Plus e-All-in-One
  • HP Officejet
    7500A Wide Format e-All-in-One (pictured)
  • HP
    Officejet Pro 8500A e-All-in-One
  • HP Officejet
    Pro 8500A Plus e-All-in-One
  • HP Officejet Pro
    8500A Premium e-All-in-One

HP is also
hosting firmware updates for several LaserJet and Photosmart
models, which should enable AirPrint goodness:

  • Photosmart e-AiO (D110) (USA/Canada)
  • Photosmart Wireless e-AiO (B110) (EU, AP)
  • LaserJet Pro M1536dnf Multifunction Printer
  • LaserJet Pro
    CM1415fn Color Multifunction Printer
  • LaserJet Pro
    CM1415fnw Color Multifunction Printer
  • LaserJet Pro
    CP1525n Color Printer (
  • LaserJet Pro CP1525nw Color Printer

If your printer is not listed, then you are out of luck right??? WELL NO!! that’s where ‘PRINTOPIA’ comes in.

It is a wicked little piece of software that works on your Mac to allow any network attached printer to become available to the iphone.

If you can’t wait till Apple resolves this and allows access to any printer then the $9.99 US is money well spent!

The following is taken from: and is written by Philip Roy.

Like Philip, I can’t recommend Printopia more!!


Wow! I don’t think I’ve got a software demo running and then bought the full version of the software as quickly as I did with Printopia…a superbly simple way to bring air printing from your iOS device to any printer, Mac or DropBox. AirPrint is a new technology out today with the iOS 4.2 release, but it is limited by the printers that are currently supported. Now with the help of Printopia, you can use any printer attached to your Mac.

I’m already a fan of Ecamm as I use their PhoneView and Call Recorder for Skype software, and this is just a fantastic new product from them (they have a superb “Free Upgrades” policy also) and I’m staggered that this wasn’t a key feature of a recent 10.6.5 update. And did I say it’s easy to use and really quite powerful for what it does? Let’s take a look at Printopia for your Mac, from set-up to use.

The download from Ecamm is a simple zipped file (note that you can download a demo that works for 7 days), which when you double-click and expand contains the installer and the manual (which I never read and didn’t need to consult…heck, it’s only 2 pages)….




The application is in fact a system preference panel and opens up with sharing activated and (something that really impressed me) my printer found already as well as the other two options that I can use…sending to my Mac and to DropBox. And that’s it! To quote Jeff Goldblum from an old Apple iMac advert, “There is no step 3”. In fact, I’m not sure there was a step 2 was there? Time to head away from my Mac with my iPhone…

System Panel


So now I’m at home, my wireless network is letting me surf the web to catch up with all the news on My Mac is part of my network (it’s cabled into my router, but you could also have it as wirelessly connected) and my printer is attached by cable to the Mac. Now I just tap on the icon indicated to explore my options…


On the screen that appears, I click on “Print”…

Select Print


Since this is the first time I’ve ‘air printed’ on my Mac, I’ll click on “Select Printer”…

Select Printer


Now (thanks to the magic of Printopia) I’ve gone from not having any AirPrint compatible devices in my house, to having 3 options. What’s happened is that the app on my iPhone that I can air print from (in this case, the Safari browser) has looked on my wireless network for an air print capable printer). Normally it wouldn’t find one…but instead (although you wouldn’t really know it) thanks to Printopia, it’s spotted my Mac and it can tell there is a printer attached to that Mac by cable. That’s right….the printer not only doesn’t need to be air print capable, it doesn’t have to have any wireless capability itself at all. My Mac and Printopia are doing it all for me!

I’m going to select my Epson colour laser printer…

Choose Epson


Here is the printer now selected. I can choose how many copies I want and then hit “Print”…



It takes a little while for the page to spool to the printer (from reports I’ve seen on the net, this is common with all air printing) but then I hear my printer start up and print…



But before I get up and walk to the other room, I’m going to print the page again…first to DropBox…

DropBox Print to DropBox


And then to my Mac…

Send to my Mac Print to my Mac


Time to go into the other room and check what has happened. Sure enough a perfect print out of the web page awaited me at the printer, but the first thing I thought that was really cool was that when I got to my Mac was that the version I had printed to it was open and waiting for me to read…

iMac screen


How this works is that Printopia creates a folder in your documents folder and places the PDFs that it prints there. The manual mentions that Printopia can create image files also, but there appears no way to manually choose your format. That simply means that images get saved as images (go figure!) and everything else gets saved as a PDF…

Documents folder


It’s exactly the same when printing to DropBox. The files gets sent to a Printopia folder in your DropBox folder…

DropBox folder


I love this feature. I use DropBox a lot between home and work, and I also NetNewsWire on my iPhone to read news when away from the computer. I often find myself emailing myself to then go back to my Mac and read the article in full when it comes through in my email client (I could use Instapaper, but it doesn’t appeal) and now I can print these articles to PDF and read them virtually anywhere from DropBox. Great stuff!



I’m really amazed at how easy getting Printopia up and running was. It literally took about a minute. It takes a great feature on the iPhone that was in fact completely useless to me (with no air print compatible printer) and makes it exceptionally worthwhile again. I can now easily be anywhere in my wireless network and decide to print a document. No more getting out of that chair to sit at my Mac to then print…now I can be anywhere and print….collecting the items from the printer when I need them. Brilliant !


Installation & Documentation

Ease of use

Value for money

Price approx
$ 9.95 USD

Software/Hardware Requirements
Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6
Mac computer with printer attached

Note – AirPrint technology requires an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 4.2 or newer

Available from



4 Responses to Get AirPrint working On Your Mac….With Any Printer Using Printopia!

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