Printing is usually the last step towards a documentation exercise. However, often times you may not have quick access to a printer, or you may have multiple devices with only one connected to the printer, and you may need to ‘hijack’ the plugged-in device just to get your stuff printed. When did printing become such a hassle?
Wouldn’t it be easier if you can connect all your devices — including your tablets and phones — to one particular printer and print straight from any one of the devices, from any where, as long as you’re connected to the Internet?
This can actually now be done with the help of Google Cloud Print (GCP), a cloud service by Google which connects your printer with multiple devices via cloud connect, so you can print from any of your devices. With GCP, you do not have to worry about installing a printer’s driver in your computer, which is a hassle by itself when it is not supported by particular operating systems or versions.
How Google Cloud Print works
GCP works as a platform to submit and manage print jobs via Internet cloud, and printing jobs can be sent from multiple platforms, be it from a native computer, mobile app or web app. When a printing job is sent, GCP is responsible for sending these instructions to the designated printer, selected by the user.
Using GCP over a secure HTTPS web connection keeps your contents safe, and makes it very convenient to send printing jobs from a variety of devices, not just a computer. On the plus side, you get to share printer usage with your friends and colleagues too. In an office setting, the management can invest on one better printer rather than several average-quality ones.
Using Google Cloud Print
To start using GCP, you need to connect your Google account to the service. You first need to have Google Chrome installed in your computer, be it a Mac or PC (Windows XP users need to have Microsoft XML paper specification pack installed together).
1. Launch Google Chrome
When you have Google Chrome installed and launched, click on the wrench icon on the top right corner of the browser, next to the address bar and look up for sub menu ‘Options’ (or ‘Preferences…’ if you are on Mac).
2. Under the hood
At the Options/Preferences window, go to ‘Under the Hood’ on the left menu.
3. Sign in to Google Cloud Print
Under the Hood, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on ‘Sign in to Google Cloud Print’.
Proceed to manage your printers.
4. Connect to Printer
If you are using a standard printer, consider your job done. GCP recognizes almost any type of printer so when you click on ‘Manage your printers’, you will see your printer already listed and ready for use.
But if you own a Cloud-Ready printer, you need to first register them from the product website before you can use the GCP service. Click on the ‘Add a Cloud-Ready Printer’ menu on the left.
You will be redirected to a page with instructions to add these printers, together with the links to the registration page. Simply follow the instruction, and enter the email address registered with the product.
5. Share your printer
One of the great features provided by GCP is the ability to share the use of your printer with others. To start sharing printer usage or to authorize other users to use the printer, highlight any printer from your list and click on the green ‘Share’ button.
A small window will pop-up. Simply type in the email of the person you want to authorize the usage of your printer for, and click ‘Share’.
You will be able to see the name of the person in the list. Note that you can remove authorized persons at anytime.
6. Start Printing!
Your printer is now connected to the GCP and you can start printing from anywhere as long as you are connected to your Google Account on Google Chrome. Be it your own printer or your friends’, printing is simple as long as the printer is already listed in your GCP account.
To start printing from your Chrome, Ctrl+P the command or select ‘Print’ from the wrench menu. A new Window or ‘Tab’ will appear with printing details and a preview. Click on the ‘Print’ button and the printing job is sent to be executed.
Google Cloud Print has made printing easier, and more easily accessible. Printing requests can now be sent from many associated Google Apps, not limited to Google Chrome only. You can also give printing instructions from many available apps e.g.
- Cloud Printer on Mac,
- PrintCentral Pro on iOS devices,
- Mobile Google App from mobile platforms, and
- many more apps for Android such as PrinterShare and Easy Print.
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