How To Print Documents From Your Smartphone

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There are many times when I find myself needing to print out a document that is on my phone urgently. There are a number of methods of doing this, but the easiest I have found is to use Google Cloud Print.

Set-up Google Cloud Print

Firstly, to use Google Cloud Print you will need to have Google Chrome installed.

Once it is installed select the wrench icon from the top left portion of your browser window.

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From the drop-down menu that appears select “Options”.

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A new tab will pop-up with a number of different settings. Select “Under the Hood” from the menu on the right pane.

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This will display a variety of new options. Scroll down the page until you reach the Google Cloud Print section. Select “Sign in to Google Cloud Print”.

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You will have to enter your Google Account username and password. Select the Google Account you would like to associate with Google Cloud Print. It is a good idea to choose one that you use frequently, since it will be linked to your Chrome account.

After signing in you will be prompted to “Print a Test Page” do this to ensure your printer is properly connected.

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Set-Up a Google Cloud Printer

If nothing happens when you print a test page, ensure that your printer is connected.

Firstly, return to the “Options” tab, select “Under the Hood” and scroll down to the Google Cloud Print section. You will now see a new option for “Manage Print Settings”. Select this.

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This will launch a page from where you can manage your print jobs and your attached printers.

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Select the tab labelled “Printers”.

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Here you should see all the printers that are attached to your computer. If you do not see the the printer you would like to use, then you may have to re-install the drivers for that printer.

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Printer Options

Once your printer appears on the list and is able to print test pages without a problem, there are a few settings you can tweak.

Firstly, select “Actions” to “Share” it with others or to “Delete” it off the list.

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The “Share” option allows you to connect the selected printer with other people using their Google Account. This is useful if there a number of people sharing a communal printer.

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You can also select the printer itself to open the list of current jobs.

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Now head over to the Google Cloud Print set-up page to print a test page. Select “Print a test page”.

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The pop-up that opens will display a list of installed printers. Select the printer you wish to print from.

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You will be given the chance to make changes to the printing options before printing out the test page.

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When you are ready hit “Print”. This will create a new job and your printer will start printing the test page.

You can view all your current and past print jobs from the “Manage Printer Settings” option.

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Set-Up a Cloud Ready Printer

If you have a Cloud Ready printer, such HP’s ePrint line of printers, then select “Add a Cloud Ready printer” from the Google Cloud Print landing page.

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Get the Android App

So far you have made your printer into a Google Cloud Printer. Now you need to set-up your Android smartphone to print to your Google Cloud Printer.

There does not appear to be an official app from Google, so I have started using the Cloud Print BETA app.

After downloading and installing the app launch it to associate it with the same Google Account as the one you used on Google Chrome.

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A list will appear showing the printers associated with your account. You may need to select “Refresh list” if your printer does not appear automatically. Select the printer of your choice and select “Done” to enable it.

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A number of print options will appear, including the option to print a test page, random files, SMS messages, mails (requires K-9 Mail), drawings and Google docs (requires further authentication).

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Select the type of item you want to print, navigate to the specific document and then select it.

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You will then have the option to print the document (“Click here to Print”) or change the printer (“Configure”).

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If you select to print the item, it will upload and start printing immediately.

You can view your current print jobs from the “Jobs” menu.

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That’s it! You will now be able to print most files and other items straight from your phone.