Barcode Label Solutions Blog

How to print labels from OS X for enterprise-wide advantage

Posted by Susan Fields

MAC OS X Mac OS X already benefits from strong presence in industries such as design and publishing, with a solid reputation for flexibility, quality and performance. The latest OS X Server software from Apple gives even more Macs the power to act as servers, extending their use to enterprise-wide IT applications and fueling the growth of a company. As supply chains and logistics also expand, so does the need to print labels – product labels, shipping labels, barcode labels, you name it! However, if you want to print labels from OS X, you’ll still want to make sure you use a convenient and cost-effective solution.

The world of Mac OS X is different than that of Windows or Linux. For many people, that’s the whole point – they find an IT environment that works in a way that suits them better. That also means that the software connections in Mac OS X are different, including the ones needed to convert graphics and text information into information that a particular printer can use to print. Different label printer manufacturers may not use the same set of printer instructions (printer control language) to produce the labels you want; if indeed they support a Mac interface at all.

 Get the same performance from your printer as you do from your Macs

What are your options? Trying to integrate a label printer with a proprietary printer command language? Or how about using a printer that is already Mac-centric and that has been made to ensure Mac compatibility from the get go? IntelliBar printers already have Mac OS drivers purpose-written for them and updated by IntelliTech each time Apple makes changes in its operating system. IntelliBar solutions even include available Mac label creation software if you want to go further than just print labels from OS X via Address Book or Pages.

When you have the software requirements down, make sure that the hardware does the job as well. The flexibility, quality and reliability you find in Apple’s Mac systems are also what you should have in your label printer. But remember – label printing isn’t like sheet feed paper printing. Label size requirements may differ considerably, sometimes going beyond the dimensions of standard paper size. Sticky label backings, whether for permanent or semi-permanent adhesion, mean that the elevated temperature of an office printer like a laser printer can cause havoc with adhesive leaking out into the printer’s mechanisms.

Thermal printing to bring your label creations into the real world

That’s why the IntelliBar’s thermal printing technology is much better suited for printing labels from OSX. IntelliBar printers offer both direct thermal and thermal transfer modes, so that you can choose the best fit for you concerning short term and long term budget, printer part lifetimes and ongoing maintenance. Direct thermal printing uses specially coated print media with printing directly from the print head and no print ribbon required. However, label lifetime is limited to around six months and the print head wears out more quickly from direct contact with the label media. Thermal transfer uses a ribbon, adding an extra consumables cost, but wears out the print head more slowly and above all generates labels that can last for years.

So now you can start being creative! There’s no lack of possible applications to print labels from OS X in business organizations. IntelliBar printers are used in sectors as diverse as food distribution, airline logistics, medical patient management, law enforcement, and leisure and entertainment. And while barcode label printing is a big part of that, IntelliBar printers are flexible as well as robust, and can handle literally hundreds of label media types, thanks to the choice of thermal printing modes and thermal transfer ribbon types.

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Tags: MAC barcode label printing