Are Epson Printers Compatible with Apple Computers?

By Dan Stone

Epson printers are platform-agnostic; some are even compatible with TV sets.
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Epson printers are compatible with all Intel-based Mac OS X Apple computers. However, there are only a handful of printers that are compatible with the Intel-based Mac OS X computers that are running applications in Mac Classic mode. Support for pre-2001 Apple computers running OS 9 or lower is in line with those supported in Mac Classic mode.

Cross-platform Compatibility

According to Epson, they are committed to supporting the Mac OS X platform with all their printers. While most printers are cross-platform compatible between Windows and Mac OS X, there are printers made before 2001 that will not support modern Apple systems, and the post-2001 printers may not support Apple computers running operating systems made before Mac OS X. If you are purchasing a new printer, it will be compatible with a modern Apple computer; however, you can check compatibility when working with older hardware to make sure it works.

Platform Feature Support

While Epson printers are compatible with Apple computers, they may not support all the unique operating system features that are supported with Mac OS X. According to Epson, certain printers may not support Mac OS X's custom paper sizes, banner printing, booklet printing, and watermarks. Additionally, Mac OS X's ColorSync feature may produce inaccurate color reproduction. Epson printers are compatible with Apple's PostScript printing, though they may require additional software that can be found on Epson's support website. If a printer does not initially support these features out of the box, Epson will sometimes provide a software update to add feature support.

Mac Classic Mode

"Mac Classic" is the term used to describe emulating a version of Mac OS that's older than Mac OS X. The emulators work with versions OS 1 through OS 9. People use Mac Classic mode to use older applications that have not been updated to work with Mac OS X.

Epson Printers in Mac Classic Mode

The Mac Classic emulation process is problematic for some peripheral hardware like a printer because while the drivers exist for the modern Apple computer, they may not for the older operating system. A given program may work, but if you try to print with from the program, the process may fail. Epson provides a list of printers that are compatible with Mac Classic on their support site, including Stylus Color 3000, Stylus Pro 5000, Stylus Pro 5500, Stylus Pro 7000, Stylus Pro 7600, Stylus Pro 9600 DYE, Stylus Pro 7500, Stylus Pro 9000, Stylus Pro 9500, Stylus Pro 10000/10000CF, and Stylus Pro 10600/10600CF. Older printers that were supported in the earlier versions of Mac OS may be supported as well. Such printers require a specific driver version to work under Mac Classic; drivers are available on Epson's support site.