How to Hook Up a Dot Matrix Printer to an Apple Computer

By G.S. Jackson

Parallel and USB printers can attach to Mac computers natively or through adapters.
i John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Older dot matrix printers are economical to operate, allowing you to print more for much less, and some use special papers, such as multi-copy forms. You may need this type of printer for your business, but you want to use newer Apple computers on your network as well. Even if your dot matrix printer is not a USB printer, you can use an adapter to attach it to any MacBook, iMac or Mac Pro with an available USB port.

Look up the printer manufacturer on the list of Apple-supported printers (link in Resources). Some older dot matrix printers are not supported. You can only connect the printer to your Apple computer if it is supported.

Plug the printer into your MacBook, iMac or Mac Pro. If the printer uses a USB cord, simply plug it in to any available USB port. If it is an older model that uses a parallel cable, then you will need a USB-to-parallel cord to make the connection.

Update your printer drivers, if necessary. Older drivers may cause the printer to malfunction or not work at all. If the drivers require updating, Apple Update will notify you and prompt you to proceed with the update.

Print your documents. After the driver updates have been installed, open the document in your text editor or word processor and print it, selecting the dot matrix printer as the output device in the Printer dialog window.