To print, view your file (eg. in Preview, Adobe Acrobat, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.) and go to the top menu and choose File > Print and open the Print dialog.

riso mac printer driver screenshot

  • Printer: Select the riso machine as the printer from the list of printers. (If you don't see it here, try these tips for installing the riso mac printer driver.)
  • Paper Size: Pick the size of the sheet of paper for the machine – I usually print on Tabloid 11 x 17 inch.
  • If it's the first time printing, add your ink colors in the Print color entry dropdown. In the color list on the left column, select the ink(s) you have and click the Add -> button to move them to the Print color column on the right. Hold the shift key to select multiple inks at once.

riso ink color list in mac riso printer driver

  • All the main settings needed for printing are in the Coloring tab of printing. I use Photo Grain-touch option the most.

  • For a two color print on our dual drum machine, I make masters for both drums at once by sending a two-page PDF file to the printer. The first page makes the master for the first drum, the second page is for the second drum. To do this in the printer driver, pick Master Making > Both Colors and Use color separated data. That’s described in more detail on page 24-25 of the Printer Driver Manual.

use color separated data riso mac driver

  • There is a bug in the Coloring section, where if you are in Both Colors > Color Separated Data, it won't let you switch to Mono-color printing until you reset the dropdown from "Color Separated Data" back to "Auto".

Other tips

  • I sometimes want to just make the master on the drum in position 2. To do this, from the Coloring tab, I select Dual-color print, and then Master-making: Color 2 only.
  • Presets: (at the top of the print dialog, below printer selection) I've found it makes things faster to make presets for combinations of colors settings and paper sizes that we use a lot. One note is that the Scale setting is not preserved by presets.
  • Pages: Selected Page in Sidebar is very handy for multi-color prints. I work with a PDF with 1 page per ink color, and select just pages for the color(s) I'm making masters for.

Riso zine making tips

  • When printing a single color zine interior, I typically make a big PDF with all the pages in order – Sheet1_Front, Sheet1_Back, Sheet2_Front, Sheet2_Back and so on. I click on the specific page I'm printing (eg, in the sidebar of Preview) before I open the print dialog, and with "Selected Page in Sidebar" option chosen, that page is the only one that shows in the print dialog's preview. This lets me work with all the pages in one file, as I am printing one side of a paper sheet at a time.
  • I like to make an overview sheet of all the pages of the zine, and then check them off physically as I print them. This helps me double check that the selected page I'm about to print is really the right one. For example, I want to be sure that I'm printing the correct back of the page. I also use it to ensure that I put the stack with fronts (already printed) into the paper tray with the lead edge facing the right direction. Here's an example of what that process can look like:

zine overview sheet for riso printing zines

riso zine printing

That's a 64-page half-letter size zine, imposed (using Spectrolite onto 11x17" paper. We print the 16 page PDF front and back onto 8 sheets of paper.


Printing Color Halftones on the Mac RISO driver

In the Mac driver, there's no line angle setting like there is in the windows driver, which makes it impossible to do multi-color halftone screening from the Mac driver dialog alone.

Most people with networked RISOs seem to use the windows driver (sometimes via Parallels on a mac) because of this major limitation. HOWEVER!! You CAN print halftones from the mac driver if you pre-bitmap your images into halftones and then print those files on Photo Grain-touch.

Travis Shaffer taught us this method, which he has used for There There Now with Photoshop to make some really beautiful photographic prints.

We use Spectrolite to make the halftones files. (We wrote about that some more here.)

spectrolite halftones

Finally, some images of halftones made in Spectrolite and printed with Photo Grain-touch from the riso mac driver:

spectrolite halftones risograph -- MG 3850 2

spectrolite halftones risograph -- MG 3937

spectrolite halftones risograph -- MG 3870 2