Sunday, March 20, 2016

Chromebooks & Printers

(Update: If you are using a chromebook, the options for printing are to use a new cloudprint printer with a programming touchscreen, OR, with newer printers share using a Windows 10 computer, OR with older printers share using Linux. I needed to use all of these.)

Chromebook laptops are fast becoming the cheapest, easiest, and fastest computers for seniors. What about printing?

Printing requires some special measures.    Basically, you cannot print directly to a printer from a Chromebook, same as from tablets and smartphones.  You cannot plug them in.

You can print of course, but you first must go through an intermediary.     There are a number of choices, with the cloudprint technology being the most popular.   That technology enables you to print through Windows and a connected printer, or other alternative OS.

Ideally, though, you don't want to go through the agonies of setting up your Windows computer as a so-called server.  Why?  You may simply want to avoid loss of function when the Windows computer goes to sleep.  Or you may very well just want to  get rid of Windows altogether.    

So wireless computers make it possible to do without Windows altogether for tablets and smartphones, even without cloudprint, using simple applications from providers like Brother and others.   Chromebooks can also be setup to print through cloudprint wirelessly without Windows.

HP and Epson offer the ability to print via email  technology through an application designed especially for Chromebooks.    HP's app is called eprint and Epson's iprint. Your printer gets its own email address, and prints from sending it an email attachment.

The last is recommended, though a bit fussy to install. (Easier if you have a touchscreen control panel.) To activate HP's Direct Print, during installation the HP printer will print out a sheet with a Direct Print Name (SSID) which you will then enter into Chrome HP Print Extension (installed from the Chrome Store) with any surname you give it. You will then get a printout showing your printer's email address with instructions. Add to your contacts just like any other contact and send attachments right to your printer wherever it may be.

Now you can avoid Windows and cloudprint, too!!! You print direct!!

What's more, you can avoid all of Windows' problems and enjoy the ease and simplicity of chromebooks!!

Note: with CloudPrint, if you have more than one email address, the next address must be shared from the CloudPrint control screen.

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