Skip to Content
Skip to Table of Contents

← Previous Article Next Article →

ATPM 8.01
January 2002




How To



Download ATPM 8.01

Choose a format:

How to Become a Network Guru

by Matthew Glidden,

Sharing an Apple Printer on a Mac Network

Apple exited the printer market a few years ago, leaving behind their LaserWriter, StyleWriter, and ImageWriter printer series. Each series had several models, some with network support and some without. You can still share many of the latter kind, however, using a hardware or software network adapter.

Note: This article only addresses Apple-branded printers and Apple-made network sharing options. For more information about other printer sharing options, see the Printer Sharing site.

Printer Network Options—Are You Network-Ready?

Apple printers have three levels of network support: Ethernet, LocalTalk, and none. So what about your printer?


Ethernet is straightforward. If your printer has an Ethernet port (labeled with the icon below), it can be shared on an Ethernet network. See the Ethernet Printers page on how to set up an Ethernet-enabled printer.


Ethernet Port


Specific StyleWriter and LaserWriter models (listed below) support LocalTalk, which means you can connect them directly to a LocalTalk network using a LocalTalk adapter.

LaserWriter: LaserWriter, Plus, IINT, IINTX, IIf, IIg, Pro models, 16/600, 12/640, 8500, 12/600, 12/660, NT, NTR, Personal LW 320, Select 360, 4/600

StyleWriter: 4100, 4500, 6500

If you have one of these LocalTalk-ready printers, see the LocalTalk Printers page to find out how to set them up. If you want to add a LocalTalk printer to an Ethernet network, see the LocalTalk-to-Ethernet page.

No Network Support

Some Apple printers that have no built-in network support can be shared via a hardware or software network adapter. If your printer isn’t listed in the following sections, however, it’s not known to have any kind of network support.

Hardware Network Adapters

Apple produced several hardware network adapters, focusing primarily on the StyleWriter range. Farallon (now Proxim) produced the iPrint SL, which adds Ethernet capability to many StyleWriter models. If you have one of these adapters connected to your printer, see the aforementioned LocalTalk or Ethernet pages, since these are now LocalTalk- or Ethernet-ready.

iPrint SL Ethernet adapter: StyleWriter I, II, 1200, 1500, 2200, 2400, 2500

StyleWriter LocalTalk adapter: StyleWriter 1500, 2400, 2500

StyleWriter Ethernet adapter: StyleWriter 1500, 2500, 6500

ImageWriter LocalTalk adapter: ImageWriter II, LQ

These hardware adapters are no longer in production, but you may find one at a parts reseller. See the Products pages for more information on locating adapters.

Software Network Adapters

There are two Apple software network adapters, the Printer Share extension and the LaserWriter 300 extension. Software network adapters require a “host” Mac, which acts as a bridge between the printer and the network.

On an Ethernet network, your “host” Mac needs an Ethernet connection (for connecting to the network) and a serial port (to connect to the printer). Install the software network adapter on the host Mac and connect the cables as shown.


An Ethernet Serial Printer Setup

On a LocalTalk network, your “host” Mac has one cable connecting its AppleTalk port (typically the printer port) with the network with a LocalTalk adapter and another connecting its other serial port with the printer as shown.


A LocalTalk Serial Printer Setup

Printer Share Extension

The Printer Share extension works with System 6, System 7, and Mac OS 7.6-9, supporting many StyleWriter and ImageWriter models.

StyleWriter: StyleWriter I, II, 1200, 1500, Color Pro, 2200, 2400, 2500

ImageWriter: ImageWriter I, II, LQ

The Printer Share extension comes with your Mac’s system software. Check the Extensions Manager control panel to verify that it’s present and active.

To share the printer, open the Chooser on the host Mac, select the printer icon and then the Setup… button, which opens the sharing window.


Naming Your Shared Printer

Check the “Share this Printer” option, name the printer (add a password if desired), then choose OK and close the Chooser.

To use the shared printer, first install the printing software on the other networked Macs. Open the Chooser on a networked Mac and choose the printer icon to see the list of available printers, which should include the printer you just shared. Select the printer’s name, close the Chooser, and you’re ready to print.

LaserWriter 300 Extension

There are three LaserWriter models you can share on a network using the LaserWriter 300 extension.

LaserWriter: LW Select 300, Personal LW 300, Personal LW LS

Make sure you install the LaserWriter 300 extension on all networked Macs that will use this printer. Open the Chooser on the host Mac, then select the printer icon and the Setup… button to open the configuration window. Name your printer (add a password if desired), check the Share this Printer box, and select OK to close the window. You can now open the Chooser on other Macs on the network, select the LaserWriter 300 icon, and see the printer name you just created. Select the printer name, close the Chooser, and you’re ready to print.

Also in This Series

Reader Comments (45)

James Tarpley · January 20, 2002 - 13:13 EST #1
An suggestions for printer sharing (USB) with OS-X.
Robert Chaney · February 14, 2002 - 09:38 EST #2
I have: a LaserWriter Select 360 printer and a PowerPC Mac G4 733 MHz connected to a USB port via a Keyspan USB twin serial adapter using Keyspan's software v. 1.2. When I go to the Chooser, it only shows serial ports for a printer and a modem. Can this setup work. Can it work on a "network?" Thank you,
Robert Chaney
Joseph O'Connell · June 3, 2002 - 17:39 EST #3
I don't believe you are correct when you state that the Printer Sharing extension will allow an Imagewriter or Imagewriter II to be shared. I have an Imagewriter connected to a Quadra 650 running OS7.6. I am using Printer Sharing V7.6 and an Imagewriter V7.01. When I select the Imagewriter icon in the Chooser and select a serial port by which to connect to it, no setup box is provided. The information Apple provides on Printer Sharing only mentions Stylewriter printers, so I suspect that the Imagewriter series cannot be shared.
Gregory Thomas · August 24, 2002 - 19:07 EST #4
Help! Where can I download the complete software for a Mac Stylewriter II?


Greg Thomas
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · August 24, 2002 - 23:53 EST #5
Gregory - Apple maintains a long list of Older Software Downloads. On that page, I located a link for the StyleWriter II 1.2
Catherine Todd · September 4, 2002 - 16:26 EST #6
Printing Problems:

1. Name Printer: I can't figure out how to name my printer. I am using an Apple Laserwriter 16/600 PS, with LaserWriter 8. There isn't anywhere to check to name the printer that I can see. Do I need an updated Printer Driver?

2. Page Setup reverts to A4: My page setup keeps changing no matter what I do from Internet web pages and Microsoft Word etc. What to do? Even after I have set the page to print at Letter or Letter Small, the next time, it prints at "A4" without notice, so the tops of pages are constantly being cut off unless I remember to go to Page Setup each and every time (which I don't!)

I am running OS 7.6.1 on a PowerMac 7600 (upgraded to a G3). This older model works GREAT.

Apparently there must be a file somewhere that is telling the printer to go back to an "A4" setting, but I never used that setting, and don't know what to look for. This problem has been going on for more than a year!

What to do?

Yours, Catherine Todd
Nina · September 14, 2003 - 11:09 EST #7
Thanks for the tip on older software downloads, Lee Bennett. For me, too, it was a very useful link!
David · October 2, 2003 - 01:52 EST #8
I have a Power Mac G4 running on Jaguar. Is there any way I can use my old Stylewriter II with this setup?
Lynn Millette · October 24, 2003 - 18:51 EST #9
I have a PowerBook G3 and don't know how to hook up my StyleWriter II to it. Help.
Chris Lawson (ATPM Staff) · October 28, 2003 - 23:32 EST #10
On OS X, gimp-print (search for it on Google) might suffice to run the StyleWriter II. I know it works for ImageWriters.

From OS 8.5 to 9.2, there is no support for StyleWriters because QuickDraw printers are unsupported on all Classic Mac OS versions after 8.1.

Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · October 28, 2003 - 23:46 EST #11
Additionally, it was proposed among the ATPM staff that a new color inkjet can cost as little as $50 and plug right into your USB port. In other words, cheap, no hassle (gimp-print can be a pain), and far superior quality.
Patrick Pace · November 14, 2003 - 07:00 EST #12
I have an Apple Laserwriter PS 4/600 printer and it uses an 8-pin cable. Is there any adaptor for my printer so I can us it in the USB port of my PC?

Thanks in advance.

Mary E. Tyler · November 24, 2003 - 23:12 EST #13
Patrick - as long as your printer is Localtalk, you should be able to use an ethernet bridge. An older Asanti bridge might do the trick. Most serial to USB adapters do not support Localtalk, so you may be out of luck there.

Chris Lawson (ATPM Staff) · November 25, 2003 - 00:48 EST #14
USB on a PC is impossible with that printer.

A USB-serial adapter might work under certain conditions on Classic Mac OS (pre-OS X) systems, but there's definitely no way a Wintel box is ever going to do it over USB.

Michel Forget · December 3, 2003 - 15:15 EST #15
I have a Laserwriter 4/600 NS and I am trying to see it in the Chooser via the Laserwriter 8 icon. I am connecting it to a Performa 5200 running OS 8.1. I'm not having any luck. Any suggestions?
Lyon Lee · January 21, 2004 - 15:34 EST #16
I have a Laserwriter 4/600 PS and wish to connect this to my Power Mac G4. I tried to find Apple-specific drivers but no luck. Any idea how I can get it to work?
Chris Lawson (ATPM Staff) · January 21, 2004 - 20:06 EST #17
OS X comes with all the drivers you need.

OS 9 does as well, though you might have to reinstall the LaserWriter 8.x software from your system CD-ROM. (This will work for Michel, too.)

Henrik · January 26, 2004 - 19:23 EST #18
Help! I need to share a printer (Epson Stylus 1200) running on a G3 with OS 9.2.2 connected to the serial (printer or modem) port with two PowerBooks running OS X 10.2.8.

I can't connect the printer via USB or AppleTalk. Sorry. :-(

Can anyone help?
Noe · February 25, 2004 - 18:17 EST #19

My network consists of a Performa connected to a Personal LaserWriter 300. I connected my nice new Powerbook G4 via ethernet, and in os 9 I can select the printer via the chooser but I get an error, OS X the printer doesn't show up at all! Does anyone know anything about this?
Evan Trent (ATPM Staff) · September 1, 2004 - 12:13 EST #20
You could play around with the Imagewriter driver in ResEdit to see if you can modify the default settings so that it defaults to an 8.5 x 3.5 page size when you print. Aside from that, it's probably not likely you can get that driver to behave properly. It is very old and was never updated to work with OS 9.

Another option, though costlier, would be to purchase a new dot matrix printer such as an Epson or Okidata, and then use Powerprint from Strydent software. Powerprint will allow you to print to a wide variety of PC printers. Check their list, and then you could buy one of these printers and print under OS 9 using Powerprint - but Powerprint does not work with OS X, although it does work under classic. So long as you are using USB, it works fine under classic but traditional serial ports are not supported under classic as you may well know.

You can check with Strydent's web site to get more information on OS X support, and a list of printers:

Hope this helps,

Zane Anderson · April 28, 2005 - 12:08 EST #21
Wallstreet G3 and Select 360 and 10.2.8?

Can these co-exist? I hate to dump that printer. The Wallstreet has ethernet but not the printer. Sighhhh.

Much thanks in advance.

Zane Anderson
House Church Network
ATPM Staff · April 28, 2005 - 13:50 EST #22
Zane - according to this Apple technical document, the Select 360 PPD is in the collection of drivers in OS X 10.2.x, implying that the OS supports it. Are you trying to use the printer on a network or simply attach it to your PowerBook? If it's a network, unless an installable network card is available for that model printer (which I have no information on), you may simply have to upgrade to a different printer that has network card support. Otherwise, simply attach the Select 360 to your PowerBook's serial port. If memory serves, the Wallstreet model had not yet fully switched to USB and there is a serial port on the back.
Irene Spunde · May 3, 2005 - 08:01 EST #23
What do you suggest to speed up printing time with a Laserwriter 4/600 PS connected to my old iMac with an AsanteTalk adaptor? It converts this appletalk printer through an RJ45 connected to the router. At best it takes forever, at worst it never prints. This is on System 10. I have to stay on System 9 most of the time, but when it becomes necessary to be on System 10, I can forget about the luxury of printing. Thanks for any help you may provide.
peter · May 5, 2005 - 02:33 EST #24
I've got an old Laserwriter 4/600 PS which I'm trying to connect to my 15" imac G4 using a Belkin F5U103 (USB to Serial) adaptor... I think that I should be albe to print in "classic" mode at LEAST...? The Belkin adaptor came with an installer icon -- which I've run... But how do I get the g4- in classic mode to recognize my laserwriter 8 printer driver?

Matthew Glidden (ATPM Staff) · May 7, 2005 - 11:15 EST #25

Haven't used that setup myself, but based on this dicussion page, it sounds like you need a different adapter for the printer. That model is LocalTalk only, which means printing from a serial port won't work, though the ports are very similar. (See the discussion for more details.)

tom gurss · June 7, 2005 - 20:10 EST #26
Is there any way to connect a Personal LaserWriter 320 to a PC? It only has a phone jack which I assume is the LocalTalk connection.
Ben Newland · July 26, 2005 - 08:23 EST #27
I need to know how to share a mac printer with a windows computer. I am running Mac OS 10.4 and Windows XP pro.
Edda Fretz · September 9, 2005 - 19:17 EST #28
I have an older Personal Laserwriter, year 1992 I believe its the 300 series has the old round port which works great with my older laptop but I can't find a cord that works with my imac or G4 both have OS 9.2 nor am I sure I can make those newer Mac's talk to this thing, anyone else tried this with any luck and suggestion where to get a cord?
ATPM Staff · September 9, 2005 - 21:10 EST #29
Edda - you can get an adapter to obtain legacy serial ports out of your USB ports, and check Apple's support page for a list of compatible printers.
Predrag Musikic · September 16, 2005 - 05:42 EST #30
I have power book G4. Need software for Mac Stylewriter II.
ATPM Staff · September 16, 2005 - 11:32 EST #31
Predrag -
peter franken · September 21, 2005 - 08:19 EST #32
How to use the LaserWriter Select 360(might work with others) on OSX/XP

-Get yourself an old computer(in my case a powerbook 190 -OS8.1) and install the free software localtalkbridge (
- Install it, install the LaserWriter software, switch on appletalk and sharing, enable printersharing and get the computer connected to ethernet either wifi or wired and connect it to a router. Connect the printer via a localtalk-box.
- This will enable You in OS 10.3.9(panther) and 10.4.2(Tiger) to print.
- Many people think that the aft-protocoll was dropped completly by Apple but it´s not the case for printing!
- The procedure might work on maschines prior OS 8 but I´m not able to test it - for shure it work on newer machines.

-The speed with this configuration is not that great - an iphoto print trakes 7´50´´- but the quality is stunning. Other adapters have also to make the gap between ethernet and localtalk and You have to know that localtalk is only 1/4 the speed of ethernet 10 so I wonder if they can jimprove in tranfer.

- The good thing is localtalkbridge is for free, unsupported but working and You can extend the localtalk-cable 150 feet with a phone wire.... and the printer is rock-solid.
Ashley Derrick · October 4, 2005 - 17:55 EST #33
I have a fully working Color LaserWriter 12/600 which I am using with a PC running Windows 2000 and using the driver shipped with that OS.

I got a device called an 'Asante FriendlyNet' adapter with it. Will this allow me to network with the PC. if so how do i use it please?
Christopher Turner (ATPM Staff) · October 5, 2005 - 01:09 EST #34
Ashley, you shouldn't have any problem with the Asante adapter. I used a similar device with my old LaserWriter 16/600 to get it on our home network. I do recall having issues with the Apple drivers for the printer, but this was on Windows 98. If Windows 2000 has built-in drivers supporting the printer, I believe you're golden.

You'll need to hook the Asante adapter up to the printer, and plug an Ethernet cable from your hub or router in to the adapter. Then power up the printer, and in Windows, choose to Add a New Printer. The Printer Wizard should be able to take you through the rest of the steps. Being primarily a Macintosh user (and this being a Macintosh publication), that's about all I can recall for now.
Sean Langridge · November 17, 2005 - 05:13 EST #35
Can anybody help with an Appler Laserwriter 8500 printing problem? I Have an ethernet network of Macs and PC's (running XP Home), and need to be able to share my Apple 8500 printer with the PC's?
Cant seem to be able to set up the Apple Laserwriter from the PC's? I have bought PC Maclan software... which see's the Printer on the network, but wont allow me to set it up on the PC.
John Cappello · January 28, 2006 - 19:36 EST #36
Where can I download the printer driver for the LaserWriter Pro 600? I am running system OS X 10.4.4. Something happened and my driver dissapeared. H E L P thanks
ATPM Staff · January 28, 2006 - 20:48 EST #37
The software for this printer is built-in. You should be able to add the printer as-is. If not, you might try putting in your OS X installation disc and reinstalling the printer drivers.
Evan Trent (ATPM Staff) · January 30, 2006 - 23:17 EST #38
Yes - there is a very effective solution to this problem. Asante makes a device called the AsanteTalk which is a Localtalk->Ethernet adapter. It allows you to not only connect the printer, but up to 8 other Localtalk devices on a Localtalk network. It's essentially a Localtalk->Ethernet bridge, technically speaking.

Check out the How to Buy link - it is available from many online stores including Amazon.
E Burke · February 10, 2006 - 04:43 EST #39
Aloha I have a new G4 running OS X.3 and an old 4/600 printer I have the assante bridge and hooked up ethernet cable from G4 to bridge and hooked up serial port from printer to assante. Pretty straight forward plugged in printer first than assante bridge. However when I go to set up the printer utility in 10.3 it won't let me turn on apple talk. Any ideas how I can make this work? thanks"L"

I am wondering if the drivers are installed . I had an ify tech Miss Mac set up my new computer. Anywhere to look that is easy to find the drivers? I am used to 7.5-8.5 and a bit aquainted with 9. thanks "L"
Daniel · March 21, 2006 - 14:05 EST #40
I have a G3 pismo firewire 500mhz 768MB RAM, and a personal laserwriter LS (which I love and for which I have 2 new cartidges). I've upgraded to OSX 10.3.9 and am unable to print unless I restart in system 9.
I am using a Keyspan adapter from the printer to USB on the laptop.
Is there a driver for this printer to get it to work with OSX?
How else can I get this printer to work with this configuration?
Diane Glosson · October 8, 2006 - 04:03 EST #41
I'm trying to locate a driver for my Laser Writer Pro 630 for my G4 laptop running on OSX 10.4. Can anyone help direct me to a download?

ATPM Staff · October 8, 2006 - 10:49 EST #42
Diane - you should already have it. Apple includes support of their own past printers as well as those from other brands as part of the OS X installation. If you somehow set the option to skip the installation of extra printers, just get your system installation disc and follow its instructions for adding additional components. You'll want the Apple printer drivers from the "Essential System Software" portion of the installation.
Diane Glosson · October 8, 2006 - 14:50 EST #43
Thanks for your reply. I noticed the Laser Writer Pro 630 was on the Essential System Software list, but unfortunately, I moved and my discs are misplaced.
My computer blue screened a week ago and when a friend fixed that, but all of my print drivers disappeared. So I wanted to find the 630 driver online to download. I went into the Apple store's genius counter and was told to download the driver, but I can't locate it. If you know
of a website where I can download the driver, it would be wonderful.

ATPM Staff · October 8, 2006 - 18:11 EST #44
Diane - losing your most recent system installation discs is akin to losing your driver license. You can't (or shouldn't) drive without it and you'll have to pay for a replacement.

I searched and didn't immediately see anything that would be of help. Perhaps you'll have better luck.

Hearing someone say "a friend fixed it" always makes me skeptical. Your friend did not fix your computer if he or she zapped all your printer drivers.

Also, if the software truly is available for download on Apple's web site, then the staff at the Apple Store should've been able to show you exactly where it's at so you could follow the steps to get to it from home.

Otherwise, you'll have access to the drivers again if and when you purchase OS X 10.5 once it's released—you you purchase a new copy of 10.4.

If you do manage to get your hands on system discs, follow the steps for optional installs:
luckey dodge · October 24, 2006 - 00:23 EST #45
i have several laserwriters 16/600 ps that i want to put on my network. i want to print from my pc (windows xp) and from my g5's. the technician that is setting this up can not find information about installing these printers on the network. he needs to know how to set up the ip addresses and naming of the printers. anyone have a solution?

luckey dodge

Add A Comment

 E-mail me new comments on this article