Thursday, July 4, 2013

How to Hook Up Your Printer

Hooking up a printer can be a chore. Using a printer with a tablet can be a challenge. 

The old way was to insert a CD and install the software or driver for your particular printer and operating system. With hundreds of printers out there and many versions of Windows it was easy to get things not working.

Downloading the software or driver from the printer manufacturer's website worked better, especially if your computer did not have a CD drive.

With Windows 7, however, there is a simpler way. Just plug the printer into the PC via the USB cable and Windows installs its own software.

There is a caution. If alternatively you are going to use a CD or downloaded software, don't plug in the printer to the computer until you are asked to do so. Otherwise there maybe a conflict. 

Newly there are other ways to hook up your printer. They also work with a tablet by replacing the wire with a wireless connection to your WiFi router or to the internet cloud.  

The simplest is to obtain a newer wireless printer, also called an eprint printer. On the printer display you just login to your wireless system. 

If your printer is not such a newer printer, you can accomplish the same result by installing software which enables your wireless system to "see" the printer from your PC or tablet.

For the iPad this software is called Fingerprint. It costs $20. Printing is done by tapping from the app on the share icon and selecting the printer, (once sharing is activated), .    Printhand for Android does similar for Android plus more, but from the file using the Priinthand app.

The last way to connect is through internet. Cloudprint from Google does a great job of this. Your print job is sent up to Google's server and then back to your printer. 

This sounds a bit complicated but actually works beautifully and has some extra benefits. You can print from anywhere to anywhere. You do not need any drivers.

If there is downside, it is that you must sign up for Gmail. That is a good idea anyway. It is just that Google makes you go through hoops to sign up. Make a note of your login and password.

Using these Android utilities, Write ($5) makes it easy to print from the application through an extensive sharing drop-down window, and Documents to Go ($15)  makes it easy to create Microsoft Office documents, but then you must locate the file from this utility, and then use Printhand to print.  Other documents creation apps have their own ways to print.

If you can work with small print on the screen, an even simpler may be to use the Kingsoft Office app, which works like MS Office Word, from which there is an options print with no further ado.   So, if your tablet is larger or can mirror to a larger display or TV, this would be the way to go.

To print via Windows attached printers, print sharing must be activated for each printer (right click).

One last easy way to print is to email the document to a PC already connected to a printer and print from that PC.    The EMail process is actually what is used in the above utilities and apps.

Tap or Click here for a nice video on the subject..

Or tap here for a way to hook up many an older printer.with ePrint.

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