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Before Apple left the printer market a few years ago, they made three printer lines, the LaserWriter, StyleWriter, and ImageWriter series. Each series had several models, some including network support and some not. You can still share many of the "not" models, however, by using a hardware or software network adapter.
Are you network-ready?
Apple printers have three types of network support: Ethernet, LocalTalk, and none. So how do you know about your printer?
Ethernet is straightforward. If your printer has an Ethernet port (labeled with the icon at right), it can be shared to an Ethernet network. See the Ethernet Printers page for the setup.
Specific StyleWriter and LaserWriter models 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 for the setup. If you want to add a LocalTalk printer to an Ethernet network, see the LocalTalk-to-Ethernet page.
No network support
Some Apple printers have no built-in network support, but can be shared via a hardware or software network adapter. If your Apple-brand printer model 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 StyleWriters. Farallon produced the iPrint SL, which adapts many StyleWriter models to Ethernet. If you have one of these adapters connected to your printer, see the LocalTalk or Ethernet pages instead, since they 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 made, but you may find one at a parts reseller. See the Products page for more info.
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.
Ethernet network: Your host Mac needs an Ethernet connection (for the network) and a serial port (for the printer). Install the software network adapter on the host Mac and connect the cables as shown.
LocalTalk network: Your host Mac connects the AppleTalk port (typically the printer port) to the network with a LocalTalk adapter and the other serial port to the printer as shown.
Printer Share extension
The Printer Share extension works with System 6, System 7, and Mac OS 7.5 - 9, supporting many StyleWriter and ImageWriter models. Your exact version of Printer Share depends on your System or Mac OS version.
StyleWriter: StyleWriter I, II, 1200, 1500, Color Pro, 2200, 2400, 2500
ImageWriter: ImageWriter I, II, LQ
You must install the same version of Printer Share and the printer software on each Mac using the shared printer. To check the version, select the file icon and then choose Get Info from the File menu.
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.
Check the Share this Printer box, name the printer (add a password if necessary), then choose OK and close the Chooser. To use the shared printer, open the Chooser on another networked Mac and choose the printer icon to see the list of available printers, which should include the printer you just named. Select the printer name, close the Chooser, and you're ready to print.
LaserWriter 300 extension
There are three LaserWriter models you can share to a network with the LaserWriter 300 extension.
LaserWriter: LW Select 300, Personal LW 300, Personal LW LS
Make sure to 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 necessary), 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 you should see the printer name you just created. Select the printer name, close the Chooser, and you're ready to print.
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