UPDATE 2: I’ve added a “NOTE” below of how to do this on Snow Leopard (and maybe Leopard) which was helpfully supplied by our helpful contributor, Brian (see below). This should help with hopefully all if not most of your problems. Thanks Brian.
UPDATE: I’ve had a few comments from people in regards to errors or oversights… So I’ll point this out now, this particular tutorial is for Mac OS-X Tiger (10.4) and may differ greatly from the way in which Leopard (10.5) and Snow Leopard (10.6) function. It does work perfectly with Tiger on my testing with the printers I have used with in (various Epsons). If you’re using 10.5 or 10.6 then this particular tutorial can only really be considered “for guidance” and you may need to figure it out for yourself.
Ok, so I wanted to avoid changing the colour settings whenever I wanted to print something in an attempt to be economical with printer ink. And, our printer tends to have issues with running out of one colour anyhow!
To do this is not as easy as one would have thought! You have to actually go into the CUPS settings file in order to change the defaults.
Open the Terminal… Found in Utilities folder under Applications.
Go to the printer settings folder typing cd /etc/cups/ppd.
To list the files (one for each printer driver you have set up), type ls.
Now you need to look for your printer file… It is the name set within the System Preferences pane followed by the extension ppd. In my case it still has the name of the IP address on our local network the printer is… 10.0.0.16, but OSX don’t like full stops in filenames so the file is called _10_0_0_16.ppd.
To open the file with editing privaledges you will need to use sudo to gain superuser privaledges. You will need to type in your password to use this command… Just like when installing software and altering some settings.
Didn’t know this before now but OSX does infact include the Linux command line editor pico… Which I have been using for years prior to having my trusty iMac.
So, to edit the settings file in my case type the following… sudo pico _10_0_0_16.ppd
Now you have the file open you need to look for the correct line to alter… You need to look for occurances of RGB. You can do this quickly using the Ctrl (not apple)+W to bring up the search box.
The first time I tried to re-write this I found the entry…
I changed this thinking it was enough (it is in Ubuntu anyhow), but it didn’t work so looked again for an RGB entry. Lowe and behold found this entry…
After changing it to…
… it worked perfectly.
NOTE: According to our very helpful contributor, Brian (see below), in Snow Leopard the phrase “RGB” has been replaced by the word “Color” (yes, American English spelling). Therefore it should now read *DefaultColorModel: Color and *DefaultColorSpace: Color instead. Simply change “Color” to “Grayscale” should sort anyones problems in Snow Leopard and possibly Leopard.
To save the file you need to type Ctrl (not apple)+O then Ctrl (not apple)+X to quit pico.
From now on all your printouts should default to being in Black & White but you can still select to print out in Colour instead.