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Apple Mac OSX Label Printer Compatibility

Microsoft Windows; you’ll find it installed everywhere from offices computers to tills, in schools to on cashpoint machines, warehouses and even military simulation systems. But what about Apple’s Mac OSX operating system?

Apple is most popular for their iPods (R.I.P.), iPhones and tablets (personally I think iPad is a stupid name). But their Mac computers still aren’t the popular choice when it comes to personal and professional computers. I have a Windows desktop computer I built for most of my work and gaming, but I chose a Macbook Pro over a Windows laptop as every manufacture has sponsored bloatware such as trial versions of Mcafee, Norton and Office to name a few. When I buy a computer I want my choice of software on it, not the manufactures’. I also chose it for its fantastic high PPI display, great battery life, clever trackpad, backlit keys, and amazing design from an all aluminium body. It can actually do pretty much everything my Windows computer can, but I digress. I know of very few applications where the Mac OS is prefered over Windows other than development of apps for other Apple products, thus we come to the subject at hand.

“Which label printers will work on my Mac?”

With Windows on more than 87% of desktop and laptop computers worldwide and Mac on under 9%* I think it’s no wonder very few things are Mac compatible but this doesn’t mean nothing is compatible. In terms of software more and more things are becoming available for the Mac OS and the Open Source community are filling the gaps that large corporations can’t or won’t. When it comes to printers however you are tied down by whether that product will actually talk to the computer or not.

Here is a list of label printers that are Mac compatible:

  • Most Dymo printers
  • Most Brother printers

Not the largest list in the world but I guess two manufactures are better than one.

One way that you can get another branded label printer to (apparently) work on an Apple computer is by installing Windows in a virtual machine, (this is to run Windows inside Mac using software such as VirtualBox) or installing Windows in Bootcamp (this is so you can dual boot into either Windows or Mac when you power the computer on). It’s not hugely reliable, or cheap as it requires buying a Windows license, but it works according to some customers. I have yet to try either of these techniques but I don’t fancy buying another Windows licence just to see if a printer will work once.

My personal recommendation to anyone who has an Apple Mac, but can’t find a printer that’s compatible, is to just buy a Windows computer and have it dedicated to the printer. If you’re intending to use the printer a lot then it’s worth it, right? A Windows computer these days can be purchased for around £300 so it’s a nobrainer if you’ve splashed out more than double that on a Mac. Also Black Friday and Cyber Monday is just around the corner so prices are no doubt going to be even cheaper.

If you have any advice or tips do feel free to contact us and I can update this post with your recommendations.

* Data supplied by Wikipedia

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"Apple Mac OSX Label Printer Compatibility" by @labelzone

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