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How Do You Print a Photo or Document?

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Contrary to popular belief, platforms other than Windows and Mac have the ability to print photos and documents. And even though printing is a simple task, the process differs between computer platforms. Different user interfaces between applications may further complicate things. Nevertheless, here are the general steps in printing for each popular platform.

Windows

If you are using a legacy or traditional desktop application to open the file or photo you want to print, check the application’s File menu and see if a Print option is available. The File menu is typically located in the upper-left portion of the application’s window. The Print option, if available, opens the print dialog box where you can specify print settings, such as determining the number of copies or specifying which pages to print. An OK or Print button should be present in the dialog box. Once you’ve confirmed all the settings are correct, click this button to proceed with printing.

If you can’t find a file menu, look for a print icon or button somewhere in the application’s window. Usual locations are at the top (near or in the title bar) and bottom of the window. Alternately, you can press Ctrl+P to open the print dialog box, but not all applications use this keyboard shortcut.

If you are using a modern app (i.e. an app that uses the Modern UI style and is typically downloaded from the Windows Store), you need to use the charms bar to print. But first, open the document or photo you want to print using the app. Open the charms bar by moving the mouse pointer to the upper-right corner of the screen and then moving it downwards. (Or, if you have a touch-enabled display, open the charms bar by swiping from the right edge of the screen.) Select Devices in the charms bar and then select Print. Choose a printer in the list or add a new one. (If you get a “This app can’t print” message instead, that means the app doesn’t have printing support.) Specify your print settings and click Print.

Mac

Printing documents and photos on Mac computers are similar to printing through traditional desktop apps on Windows. Mac apps with printing support should have a print button on their main toolbar along with buttons for other common tasks. The print option should also be available in the File menu.

The keyboard shortcut to bring up the print dialog box is Command+P.

iOS

In Apple iOS-powered devices, such as the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, printing photos and documents are possible through Apple’s AirPrint technology. This requires printers that support the technology. Both the printer and device you want to print from must be on the same Wi-Fi network.

To print, open the app, tap its share or settings icon, and find the print option. Tap Print or its corresponding icon, choose a printer, specify the number of copies and tap Print.

If the print option isn’t available, that could mean the app doesn’t support AirPrint. Alternately, check the app’s user guide or online support page for instructions on how to find the print option.

Chrome OS or Android

Chrome OS and Android has a growing support for direct printing. You typically need a wireless printer and its accompanying app. Example printing apps including the Canon Easy-PhotoPrint, Epson iPrint, HP ePrint and the Samsung Mobile Print. Files and photos must be opened within these apps in order to print them.

If you don’t have a printer that is compatible with these apps, you can use Google Cloud Print. This technology allows you to send your files and photos over the Internet to a laptop or computer with a USB-connected printer. It can also print without the help of another computer if your printer has a Cloud Ready certification.

Alternative printing options

If the program or app you’re using doesn’t have native printing support, try to look for a Save as PDF option instead. Afterwards, transfer this PDF file to another computer that has a PDF viewer with printing support and print from there.

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