Cancel print jobs without wasting paper

The moment you realize you've sent a 100-page mistake to your printer—whether it's at your home or office—is not the moment to start researching how to cancel a print order. Keep this quick guide in mind or at hand, so if that moment ever arrives, you'll be ready.

Cancel from your printer

If you are close to the printer, walk over to it and either cancel the job or pull out the paper (or open the paper tray). Most printers have a fairly obvious Cancel or Stop button on the front controls; pressing that button will quickly halt whatever print job is in progress. Alternatively, you can turn the printer off. Or if you can get to the paper supply easily, you can try removing the stack.

Removing the paper from the printer's input tray (or turning the printer off) won't cancel the print job, but it will pause the printing, giving you time to take other steps to delete the mistake either from the unit or from your Mac.

Cancel from your Mac

Use the green Pause/Resume button in OS X to stop a currently running job.

If your printer is too far away from your desk to get there quickly enough, you'll need to halt the job remotely from your Mac. This procedure involves opening the print queue and canceling the job. Here's how to open the queue in OS X Leopard or Snow Leopard and how to cancel a print job within it.

  1. When you issue the Print command in any program, the printer icon appears in the dock and stays there until the job is completed.
  2. Click the print icon to open the print interface.
  3. Immediately click the green Pause/Resume Printer button in the toolbar at the top of the window where the other printer commands are located (it's the 4th icon in the row). That will immediately stop the printing process.

If you want to start all over again, just select the print job from the dialog and click the Delete button in the toolbar. Then go back to your document to revise the print order, and click the Print button.

With those tips in mind, you’ll never have to waste paper on unintended documents.

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