iOS Print Options (Black and White / Double Sided)

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Overview

With PaperCut (either Primary server, or Secondary Server/Site Server) installed on a Mac, you will have the ability to print to your print queues from iOS devices. This is done by broadcasting an additional Bonjour advertisement for the print queues in question.

With Version 15.2 or older, PaperCut broadcasts a default set of capabilities for the print queue in question, so for example if the driver at the OS level does not support Black & White options, then users may still see the Black and White button listed in the iOS printing options. The same goes for duplexing options - if the driver itself doesn’t support duplex, users may still see the option to print ‘double-sided’ from their iOS devices.

Ultimately, if the driver doesn’t support the function, it means that the user doesn’t get the behavior that they’re after. If they select the ‘Black and White’ option while printing, the job may still print in color if the queue itself doesn’t support black and white. Similarly, if they select ‘double-sided’ and the print queue does not support duplexing, the job may not print at all.

How do I check which settings the print queue supports?

Check to see what the driver is supporting, at the OS level. On the mac server itself, open up e.g. TextEdit or another program locally, and use cmd-P to bring up the print dialog. Check to see what options the driver is letting you choose.

For example in the screenshot below, the MX 2640N driver is letting me select color options, as well as options for two-sided (Duplex). That means that the driver does support all of these options, so when printing from the iOS device, everything should work as expected.

If you don’t see those options listed, that may mean that the manufacturer driver selected does not support e.g. duplex. Create a brand new test queue on the mac, and experiment with an updated / alternative driver from the manufacturer, to see if those options are supported.

What’s changed in 15.3?

With 15.3, we’ve made the iOS advertisement a little more clever! What that means is that if the print driver doesn’t support Duplex, we’ll change the iOS advertisement to only advertise simplex - the ‘double sided’ button will not appear in that case. Same goes for ‘black and white’.

If you’re troubleshooting why you’re not seeing the ‘double sided’ or ‘black and white’ options when printing from iOS - check the features that the actual print queue supports at the driver level, as detailed in the previous section.

With previous versions, even if the queue itself supported duplex print jobs, there may have been times when selecting ‘double sided’ from the iOS device resulted in the job getting lost - no trace of it printing and no trace of it in the PaperCut logs. Upgrading to 15.3 should fix this.

Awesome. How do I upgrade?

Take a look through the upgrade instructions here. If you’re running your Mac that is sharing the queues on a secondary server, make sure that you upgrade both the primary Application server as well as the secondary server component running on the Mac.


Categories: Implementation / Deployment, Apple AirPrint, Apple iPad Printing, Apple iOS, Apple Mac OS X


Keywords: double sided, duplex, missing print job, black and white, grayscale

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Article last modified on November 24, 2015, at 09:46 PM
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