Change Print dialog Preset settings

As you may be aware, you can create custom print presets in OS X. These are nothing more than a collection of print settings set up to accomplish a certain task. On my machine, for instance, I have three that I use regularly: a “draft” preset that I use on the laser printer (300dpi instead of 600dpi, and the toner saver is enabled), “hq laser” (just the opposite of “draft”), and an “hq photo” mode for our inkjet (borderless, glossy paper, high quality print, etc.). With the presets in place, it’s a simple matter of choosing from the Presets pop-up menu to choose the type of output I want for the given print job.

But there’s a feature (or is it a bug?) in the Print dialog: Your last-used preset is remembered. While that’s not usually a problem, consider a situation where you print most of your work using the “draft” mode, but one day, you run an “hq laser” print job. The next time you print—which might not be for a day or two—the Preset button will still be set to “hq laser” mode, and you’ll need to remember to change it back to “draft” before you print. If you’re like me, you don’t always remember to check the preset before you print, which leads to wasted paper and/or toner or ink, depending on what output you were expecting.

So instead of waiting until the next print job to change the preset, I like to change it back to my default immediately after printing. But if you just change the Preset pop-up and click Cancel, the change won’t stick. You could, of course, print something with the new setting to make the new Preset setting stick, but that’s a real waste of resources.

So here’s the trick: just click the Preview button after changing the Preset pop-up. The Print dialog will vanish and Preview will open showing your print job. Just close it and return to the original application; the next time you call up the Print dialog, you’ll find it set to the Preset setting you selected.

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