Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is it possible to set up a printer, so it will always print in black and white?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

You can define a preset from the print dialog. First change the settings for what you want, and then choose the Presets > Save As… menu.

enter image description here

If you leave your preset selected, it will be selected the next time also, so you will never have to change it.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
I don't see any options for that: cl.ly/7eXd cl.ly/7fWc –  Tyilo Jun 15 '11 at 22:51
@Tyilo It's in the Presets menu, just under the printer selection menu. –  ughoavgfhw Jun 15 '11 at 22:55
Oh my god, I'm stupid :P –  Tyilo Jun 15 '11 at 22:56
This will not work for Google Chrome; Chrome will always use the default preset, not the last one used. –  bouke Jan 19 '12 at 10:43

@ughoavgfhw's answer is incomplete. Some applications (like Google Chrome) will not use the last used preset, but will use the default preset. In order to have such applications adhere to your default settings, you have to interact with the underlying printing system CUPS. These steps will get you there:

  1. Run cupsctl WebInterface=yes using the Terminal application (only required once).
  2. Browse to http://localhost:631/
  3. Go to Printers
  4. Select printer to modify
  5. Choose Set Default Options from the second drop-down
  6. Under Basic set Output color to Black (this step might be different for your printer)
  7. Hit Set Default Options and presto!

Set Default Options

Set output color to black

share|improve this answer
awesome.... thanks a lot.. –  harshitgupta Jun 22 '14 at 18:44
is there a way to do this strictly from the terminal ? –  mcgrailm Feb 24 at 21:28

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.