Chapter 5. Printing

Working in the Macintosh environment, you’re used to a simple and elegant printer interface, particularly in Mac OS X, where Print Center makes it a breeze to add new printers and configure your existing printers. Until the advent of the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS), the Unix environment has never had a printing interface that even comes close in usability. As of Mac OS X 10.2, Print Center and CUPS are combined in a way that brings joy to command-line and GUI lovers alike.


When you add a printer with Print Center, you’ll only see some of the printer models that Mac OS X and CUPS support. To get access to advanced options, including extra print drivers, hold down the Option key when you click the Add button. To get even more printer drivers, download and install the Mac OS X release of gimp-print ( The gimp-print release is available as a disk image that includes a graphical installer.

Formatting and Print Commands

Before you print a file on a Unix system, you may want to reformat it to adjust the margins, highlight some words, and so on. Most files can also be printed without reformatting, but the raw printout might not look quite as nice. Further, some printers accept only PostScript, which means you’ll need to use a text-to-PostScript filter such as enscript for good results. Before we cover printing itself, let’s look at both pr and enscript to see how they work.


The pr program does minor formatting of ...

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