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Using an ImageWriter with macOS

The Apple ImageWriter printers are the most popular (and probably most reliable) of the impact (dot matrix) printers available for Mac users.

Unfortunately, Apple discontinued the ImageWriter long long ago. For Helix users (and Mac users in general) who need to print multipart forms or tractor feed paper (still the least expensive option for mailing labels) hanging on to those ImageWriters and keeping them running is an important task.

Previously, we were under the impression that no solution existed that would allow use of an ImageWriter in macOS. Happily, we were wrong.

The Solution

We recently learned that The Linux Foundation has produced a printer driver that enables macOS to use ImageWriter printers. As the documentation says:

The current ImageWriter driver supports printing via AppleTalk to an AppleTalk-enabled ImageWriter II or ImageWriter LQ, and printing via a supported serial port to all three models of Apple ImageWriter. Keyspan USB-to-serial adapters offer fully supported serial ports. There may be other brands of USB-to-serial adapters that also work. This driver does not support color printing.


Click here to go to The Linux Foundation’s web page where the printer drivers are found.