Print with System Dialog in Chrome on the Mac

Although Safari is the natural web browser to use on the Apple Mac, some people prefer to use Google Chrome instead. There is another choice when it comes to printing from the browser and this is between Chrome’s print facility and the OS X print system dialog. Fortunately, you can use both.

Safari is good, but Chrome has a couple of advantages and one is that there are hundreds of extensions for it, and the other is that it is cross-platform and is available on Windows and Linux, making it easy to sync settings, bookmarks, history and so on.

When you want to print out a web page using Chrome, the usual method is to go to the File menu and select Print. If you look at the file menu, the keyboard shortcut for Print is displayed next to it and you can print by pressing Command+P.

Print from Chrome

This displays Chrome’s print window and it has some useful features, like a print preview, plus the usual print options for selecting the paper orientation, the number of copies, printer and so on.

Print from Chrome on the Mac

You can get to the OS X System Dialog for printing from here and there is a link at the bottom of the left panel. Going through Chrome’s print window to get to the System Dialog is a pain and is one step too many.

One thing I always do in applications is to select a menu, hold down the Option key and see if anything changes. Try this with Chrome’s File menu and it does indeed change and Print becomes Print Using System Dialog...

Print from Chrome

This means that there is a quicker way to get to the System Dialog. To get there even faster, hold down Command+Option+P.

OS X print system dialog

For some people this is still not good enough and they cannot get out of the habit of pressing Command+P to print because it is a common keyboard shortcut that many applications use.

There used to be a solution (from Ryan McGeary), although it does not seem to work with the latest versions of OS X and Google Chrome. If you are still running old versions of one or the other you might like to try it. The trick is to redefine the keyboard shortcuts for the two print menus.

Related: Show or hide Chrome's menu bar notification icon

Go to System Preferences and open Keyboard. Select the Shortcuts tab and select App Shortcuts in the left panel. Click the Plus button and you can choose the application and shortcut.

Select Google Chrome as the application, Enter the menu title exactly as it appears, which is Print Using System Dialog... click in the Keyboard Shortcut box and press Command+P. Click Add and close System preferences.

You should now be able to press Command+P and see the System Dialog. It seems to have worked in the past, but Chrome now appears to over-ride the System Preferences shortcut and it continues to use its own. Try it, it may work for you. I’m happy with using Command+Option+P to print when I want to skip Chrome's Print window.

Related: What is ksfetch and how do you stop it?



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