Printing is the process of reproducing texts and illustrations in black and color on a material such as paper, cloth, glass, or plastic, using a mechanical device known as a printer. It is a large-scale industrial process that is an essential part of paper-based publishing and transaction printing. It is also used in the production of specialized materials such as currency, postage stamps, and forms such as application forms, quiz sheets, and wedding speeches.
The earliest printing is believed to have been woodblock printing, with existing examples from China dating back to before 220 AD. Movable type was introduced in Song China, around 1200 AD, and this revolutionized the process of print by allowing it to be applied to a much wider range of characters.
Modern printers use ink jet, laser, and thermal technologies to produce printed text and pictures on a variety of materials including paper, plastic, canvas, fabric, and even metal. The printer’s software controls the placement of the ink or toner on the material in order to produce the desired image and text. Most modern printers are also capable of making photocopies of documents and images.
If you want to print something from your Mac, make sure that the printer is connected and turned on, then open a document or picture in one of the apps that supports printing—for example, Pages, Mail, Photos, or Safari. Click File in the menu bar at the top of the screen, then click Print. You can choose a preset (a set of printer settings that you’ve saved) or select a custom setting from the pop-up menu.