Zebra ZP 505

Zebra ZP 505, ShipStation & Mac

Today I was assisting a client that is a food service provider and distributor that sends pre-packed foods via FedEx to its clients. The client wanted to replace a lone PC that was being used for printing shipping labels with a Mac to lower to her tech costs and so that everyone was on a common computing platform. The issue facing my client, though, was that she was not able to get a Zebra ZP 505 to print her 4” x 6” shipping labels correctly on a Mac from within the ShipStation web-based software she was using.

If you’re not familiar with ShipStation, its “shipping solutions seamlessly integrate with all of the major eCommerce shopping carts and platforms enabling you to easily manage and ship your online orders.” ShipStation works with Amazon.com, Amazon Fulfillment, Shopify, eBay, Easy, United States Postal Service, Squarespace, Square, PayPal, UPS, FedEx, DHL, and other eCommerce shopping carts. So, if you’re running a business and you ship things to your clients, you may want to have a look at ShipStation.

Anyway, I was able to get it working without any special drivers or fancy software and I wanted to post this to possibly help someone else using a Mac that might be facing this shipping dilemma!

Here’s what you do to get it to print on a Mac running OS X 10.11 “El Capitan”:

  • Attach the Zebra ZP 505 printer to your Mac using a USB cable.
  • Click on the Apple at the top-left of your screen and choose System Preferences.
  • When the System Preferences pane appears, click on Printers & Scanners in the second row from the top. The Printers & Scanners pane will open and you will see any currently configured printers in the left column.
  • Click on the plus sign (+) in the lower-left of the left-hand column and you should see your Zebra label printer there and click once on it. Normally, the Mac operating system will automatically pick the driver you should use but Zebra doesn’t make Mac-specific printer drivers currently but some users have created CUPS compatible printer drivers for it. CUPS is the standards-based, open source printing system developed by Apple Inc. for OS X® and other UNIX®-like operating systems. CUPS uses the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) to support printing to local and network printers.
  • Click on the “Use:” dropdown box and go all the way to the bottom. Choose the Zebra EPL2 Label Printer driver (see screenshot below). If I chose any other Zebra printer driver, such as the Zebra ZPL Label Printer (which I chose first as it made the most sense given the name of the actual printer itself!), it would result in blank labels being printed.

Zebra ZP 505 Label Printer

  • Log into ShipStation, and follow the instructions to download and install ShipStation Connect for Mac. According to ShipStation, “We developed ShipStation Connect to bridge our web-based application to your printers or scales. If you're running Mac OSX 10.7 or higher, you'll be able to install and run the ShipStation Connect application. The application is free!”
  • After that, you should be able to print labels to your Zebra ZP 505 label printer from SendStation directly by choosing the “Print via ShipStation Connect” option. For more information, please refer to this ShipStation Support Article.

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