Lion Tip: Never Queue for A Printer Again!

Have you ever needed to print quickly but your default printer is busy printing someone else’s stuff?
Instead of having to open your printer’s print queue, stop and delete your print job, select another printer and re-print, why not create a printer pool? It’s easy to do and will save you time and frustration!
As long as you have more than one printer available to you, when you print to a printer pool, the system will automatically print to whichever printer is available to accept a new print request.

So, the question is how to create a pool?

Well, it is actually rather simple.
Just access Print & Scan preferences within System Preferences and select the printers you would like to have in the pool by pressing the Command or Shift key.
When you do this the window will display a “Create Printer Pool…” option.
As with other printers, you can share the pool and delegate user access. If you have a spare computer to use for this purpose, you can create a pool of your printers on it, and then share the pool to the network and grant specific user access to the pool, effectively creating a basic print server. (You won’t, however, get the true benefit of a Print Server like print quotas etc).
If you select more than one printer in the Printers List of Print & Scan preferences, the Printer Pool feature becomes available as shown below :

Create a printer pool in mac os x lion

Selecting the ‘Create Printer Pool…’ option allows you to give your Printer Pool a name :

Create Printer Pool in Lion

After naming your Printer Pool it will appear as a ‘virtual printer’ in your Printers List :

Printer Pool it will appear as a 'virtual printer' in your Printers List

You can now print to the ‘pool’ and whichever printer is free first will print out your print job!