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How to Get Started with Google Cloud Print

Imagine carrying all your media and files to be able to print them wherever you want, whenever you want. This is precisely what Google Cloud Print was designed for.

It was designed to enable users to print from any of their devices (laptops, PCs, tablets, smartphones) to any printer.

And in this article, we’ll tell you just how you can make this possible.

What is Google Cloud Print?

Google Cloud Print is a beta service from Google that connects your printer –whether it’s Google Cloud Print-compatible or not- to the cloud. This is to allow you or anyone of your choice to submit prints from a wireless device, even if they’re physically far away from the printer.

Google Cloud Print is the solution to traditional wired connections via proprietary cabling as it allows you to print wherever you are –even if you’re continents away from your printer.

There’s a unique URL that you can share with anyone whose printer you want to add to your network.

Setting the Service Up

To set up your Google Cloud Print service, you’ll need three things: a Google account, a wireless Internet connection, and a printer.

By simply logging into your Google account and adding the printer using one of the methods we’ll mention below, your Google Cloud Print will be ready for use.

We’ll be talking about two types of printers: Google Cloud Print-ready ones such as printers for Chromebooks and ones that aren’t.

See also: the best printers for Chromebook list.

You can work with either. However, the latter requires a more complicated setup process.

Tip: You can use FedEx Office’s fleet or printers with Google Cloud Print. You simply pay and pick up your documents from any of their 1,800+ locations.

Google Cloud Print-Ready Printers

Having a Google Cloud Print-compatible printer will spare you a lot of issues and make the setup process very straightforward.

Google Cloud Print supports several printer models, including Canon, HP, Kodak, and Dell. You can check out here if your printer is Google Cloud Print-ready or not.

The process may differ from one device to another, especially on Mac devices, as the model makes a difference. So you should check out the exact steps listed on Google’s Cloud Print website.

Once you’ve successfully followed those steps, either your printer or the email address associated with it will be registered with Google’s service.

Classic Printers

Unfortunately, setting up older printers without Google Cloud Print-compatibility is a little more complicated and tedious.

First, use a free Google Chrome installation to link a printer to Google Cloud Print using the browser as a proxy.

Open the Chrome dropdown menu, click "Setting," "Show Advanced Settings," and finally "Google Cloud Print."

After that, select “Add Printer” and sign in to your Google account. Next, choose the printer you want to connect and then select “Add Printer(s).”

Finally, when Chrome is finally connected to your printer, use Google Cloud Print to print to it from the device of your choice.

FedEx Office

If you don’t print that often or if you don’t have the time to return to a place with one of your connected printers, you can use FedEx’s cloud printing services.

FedEx Office in the US is already integrated with Google Cloud Print. Which means you can use one of their printers instead of your own.

Sending a Print Job

Now that your printer is connected to the cloud, it’s time to get printing.

Printing from the Web

In the traditional way, you can print a webpage to a Google Cloud Print straight through the Chrome browser. Simply open the page and select “Print” from the Chrome menu in the top-right corner.

Using this method enables you to manipulate printing options such as layout orientation, number of copies, and margining to customize the print job according to your specific needs.

Printing from Google Drive

If you have a Google Drive file that you want to print, you can do so straight from the web app from any browser.

Open the file you want to print and select “Print” from the “File” menu.

Next, choose the printer you want to use, change any options according to your preferences, and finally click "Print."

Printing From another OS X App

To print from other apps other than Chrome or Google Drive, you’ll need the Cloud Printer from the Mac App Store.

This is a free utility that lets you upload local files and send them to your printer through Google Cloud Print. Similar to the native functionality of most WiFi printers but without the requirement for physical presence.

Once you’ve installed Cloud Printer, sign in with the same Google account that you used to register your printer earlier.

Next, click "Choose File," locate, and select the file you want to print then click "Submit Job to Printer."

Once you've done that, the job will be queued for printing, and you can manage it through the Google Cloud Print web app.

Managing Your Printer and Its Jobs

Managing your Google Cloud Print activity can be done through Google’s Cloud Print Site. There are two main parts on the site: one for controlling the printers you've already registered and one for managing your print jobs.

Renaming, Sharing, and Deleting Printers

In the “Printers” tab of the Google Cloud Print web app, you can either rename a printer or entirely delete it from the registered units until you decide to add it again.

You can also share your printer by clicking the green “Share” button to manage who can send print jobs to your printer.

You can either keep it private, invite additional people individually, or create a unique URL that allows those who have it to submit new jobs.

Managing Print Jobs

In the “Print Jobs” tab, you can view all the print jobs linked to your Google account.

By clicking the "Details" button, you'll get to see some metadata about the job, including the time submitted and its current status.

The page updates automatically to show the progress of ongoing jobs in real-time. You can remove and hide a job by selecting the item and clicking “Delete.”

Final Thoughts

Google Cloud Print is a superb way to print remotely, which helps save a lot of time and effort.

Getting started with Google Cloud Print isn't difficult, and you might not even notice you're printing through the cloud with the pre-existing integration into Google's own software.

Adam William
 

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