Home printer & AirPrint

I have a Canon Pixma iP4700 - works fine but family is demanding AirPrint and after using an AirPrint printer recently I’m inclined to agree. I tried using the trial of Printopia to share from my Mac with no success. I’d still prefer a software solution to a new printer. Any suggestions?

Thinking this through - is there a way to accomplish this by saving a PDF to the Mac and having Hazel do the printing?

What was the issue with Printopia? Haven’t taken the plunge yet – but was considering it.

Re Hazel – would you always have a Mac on and connected to it – or is the printer plugged in on a network?

With Printopia I went through all the troubleshooting and it would never print - ios devices recognized the printer but always failed to print, with a nondescript error message.

I have an always on Mac available for Hazel, where I can connect the printer.

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AirPrint is the better solution. It is so frictionless and lets you control options like plain paper vs photo paper, double sided and so on. I don’t think you can get that with Hazel.


I agree with this. Get a new Airprint-capable Printer. The iP-4700 is a photoprinter anyway. Are you printing mostly photos, or are you doing documents too?

One could presumably have Hazel watch particular cloud-synced folder, and have it act on files with matching criteria (Kind is PDF; Tag is Print) or some such.

Haven’t really looked at Hazel’s implementation into the system - but come to think of it, KM could probably do this as well, and it would give you more “in’s” at system level.

I was toying with same idea - but haven’t gone down the rabbit hole until I get my printer onto a network.

if you can get hold of an airport express it looks like you can reconfigure them, join them to an existing network and use them to make any printer an AirPrint printer: https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/08/29/how-to-connect-apples-airport-express-to-any-router-to-make-an-airplay-2-streaming-target

I’ve used Printer Pro by Readdle for years. I have an old HP LaserJet that is on my network but does not have wifi. I run Printer Pro Desktop on my Mac Mini that is always on, but I can’t remember if I still need to do this.

Printing is a little odd with Printer Pro; essentially, you send the thing to be printed to the Printer Pro app on your phone through the action menu (formerly called the share sheet). That can make printing from some apps difficult or impossible. For example, until we were able to make a pdf from an email, you couldn’t print an email message.

It also hasn’t been updated in a while. But I just tested it, and it worked fine on my iPhone XS.

Well I took the easy route and got a new Canon TP8520. Haven’t tested to see how photo quality compares to the ip4700 yet but otherwise it works wonderfully with minimal setup.

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I know it’s a very old thread…

Just wanted to add how I solved this.
I have a very old laser printer (they are built to last forever). Just LAN, no WLAN, no AirPrint.

  • attach printer to LAN
  • get a Raspberry PI (no need for the newest/shiniest)+charger
  • set it up with a minimal configuration (Raspian). It’s point&click
  • attach it to the network (WLAN or LAN, doesn’t matter). No need to be near the printer just on the network.
  • SSH into the Raspberry and install and configure CUPS (Common Unix Printing System). CUPS is the software behind macOS printing’s abilities
  • CUPS has a web interface: set up your printer and enable network sharing
  • done

The Raspberry draws minimal power and now you have “real” AirPrint for almost any printer out there.


The idea was to:

  • print from iPhone and iPad with AirPrint
  • not relying on an “always on Mac” ($30 for the used Raspberry vs. cost of a Mac, lower energy consumption)
  • Printing from the Mac was not an issue, Laser printer is set up as IPP printer and inkjet with the manufacturer’s drivers
  • the Rasperry solution would also work with any UBS printer, making it network and AirPrint capable

Here is, how to enable CUPS on the Mac