FingerPrint to AirPrint to your computer

Discussion in 'AirPrint' started by twerppoet, May 31, 2011.

  1. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    For anyone who read about Printopia and wished they could use it on Windows, I read about a program called FingerPrint today. It works similarly to Printopia, but has versions for both Windows PCs and Macs.

    FingerPrint

    Printopia

    I think Printopia has a few more features, but it wouldn't surprise me if FingerPrint adds similar extras later.

    I have not tested FingerPrint. I just read about it in MacWorld, so YMMV.
  2. jpp
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    jpp iPF Novice

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    Hmm..I've tried this program, and although all my Windows connected printers show up (the 3 traffic light symbols appear on the iPad and it lists the same printers on the PC), I can't get any of them to print.

    This issue is really bugging me. I want it simple to use so my wife can just hit the Print Button in any App, like say Safari and just print.

    I currently have installed PrintCentral Pro, and although it works fine within it's own App, you have to cut and paste the URL from Safari into its own Web interface.

    Cutting and pasting I don't really find that easy to do on the iPad, so a simple program and/or App that allows you to print from within any App/program on the iPad to any Windows connected Printer is really a must for me.

    I think FingerPrint is working correctly through my Firewall as I get to see all the printers on both the iPad and Windows PC. Am I right in assuming this?

    Btw, the link to Printopia is broken. I also note that is is only available for the MAC - at least as far as I can determine.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
  3. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    After reading the poet's suggestion, I downloaded Fingerprint and installed it on my PC (Vista). I had no problems at all. My Samsung printer is a WiFi model that's not AirPrint compatible. But Fingerprint let me use it straightaway. Make sure that FingerPrint is running, of course. I found that Vista was picky about letting it run as a Startup item and I had to launch it manually after I'd rebooted my PC. So check it's running in the system tray and then ensure that the printer you want to print to is selected in FingerPrint, by default it allows you to 'print' to every printer that you'd normally see in the Windows Print menu.

    Tim
  4. jpp
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    jpp iPF Novice

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    Thanks for the feedback Tim.

    So, just to be sure - you only have FingerPrint loaded on your PC, nothing on the iPad and you see the Printers on the iPad with the 3 traffic lights (which are an additional set of printers when you look at the printer list when say printing from Safari?) and the same list in FingerPrint on your PC?

    I have done all of the above, stopped the PrintCentral App on the iPad and the WsPrint on the PC and then started FingerPrint manually.

    I don't have an AirPrint printer, but have about 5 other sprinters ranging rom an old HP LaserJet 1300 to a newish Dell 5110 and Canon MP610.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011
  5. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    Yes - OK, I guess the detail is important in cases like this.

    I read the poet's post and went to the FingerPrint site. I downloaded the demo (7 day) version of the app to my PC - Sony Vaio P running Vista. I installed FingerPrint and, at the end of the installation, selected the 'Lauch FingerPrint' option. I was then presented with a screen on which all my many printers and other printing-type devices were listed. I unchecked them all except my Samsung Laser Printer, which is connected into my home network by WiFi.

    For good measure I restarted my PC and had a pop-up box appear saying that FingerPrint approval as a startup item was 'pending' (never had that before!). I dismissed that warning and started FingerPrint manually.

    I restarted my iPad too. I have nothing installed on my iPad. I then went to Pages, selected a test document and selected Print. As shown on the FingerPrint website, I had my printer listed in the Print menu. I selected print and the appropriate print options - single sided, 1 copy etc - hit the print button and, a few seconds later, it popped out of my printer. I then went to the iPad's Photos app and tried to print a photo from there (on the basis that it was more complex and therefore a more stringent test) and that worked fine too.

    One problem that I have on my home network - and it's nothing to do with FingerPrint - is that my PC sometimes loses contact with the printer. It seems as though - because my Vaio is often taken away from home and then returned and I have several other PCs in the house and people are always switching stuff on and off, that the printer gets assigned a different IP address (yes, I know, I should use a static IP address) so I have to manually edit the IP address assigned in the PC's Control Panel to the printer. It seems as though the Vaio always wants to use the same IP address for the printer and never searches for the printer by its (unique) MAC address, so I have to occasionally manually change the IP address to the correct one.

    But, as I said, that's not a FingerPrint problem - it's a problem I've had with my PC and printer since day one...but I mentioned it simply because I wondered if the problem you were experiencing wasn't FingerPrint related...

    Good Luck and get back to me if there are continuing problems....

    Tim



  6. jpp
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    jpp iPF Novice

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    Well, we have to stop the print presses. It all seems to work now, even printing duplex on my Dell printer. No idea why - did not perform a no reboot.

    Well, most impressed now as you can now have your cake and eat it too. Printing to any wireless AirPrint compatible printer is still possible as the printer list on the iPad still lists those too. Be aware that the printer list now shows two lists. One which the iPad normally shows which includes your Window PC attached printers (which of course won't work) and below that the same list of printers, but these contain an icon with a set of traffic lights. It is one of these that you need to select.

    The info on the FingerPrint website is very limited and doesn't really do justice to what the product can do.

    AFAIK, it's the ONLY one that allows printing directly from any App on the iPad, does not require an App to run on the iPad, and will talk to all of my printers connected to my Windows PC.
  7. Sally Marshall
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    Sally Marshall iPF Novice

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    enter a z to prefix the web address in PrintCentral Pro

    ie zhttp.cnn.com ; then you dont have to copy and paste anymore - their helpdesk told me that one along with how to print a screenshot in a few seconds ; press the home button and power button as the same time and go into Images in the app and its there ready to print ....very useful for maps amongst other things though our son does this to brag to his dad on winning realracing2HD! "in yer face dad!" on his wall.






  8. mata7
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    mata7 iPF Novice

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    thank you very much, you just make my day really happy :) , i dint know about this software it work great whit my Canon MX850 Win7 x64 Pro, Thank you Thank you
  9. Kirbyskipper
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    Kirbyskipper iPF Noob

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    So I assume there's no way to print to a network connected printer from the iPad without the PC being operational (I.e. running). Is that correct?
  10. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    No. Not quite.

    --------------------


    Some printers are directly compatible with AirPrint on the iPad. This includes several HP printers and a smaller selection of Canon and Epson printers. Be absolutely certain the printer supports AirPrint before buying. Some printers may require a firmware update to work. These are usually available on the manufacturers site. If you get this kind of printer you can print directly from within apps that support the feature, which is many.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4356

    Of course some of us already have printers and do not want to buy a new one. There are a couple ways to do this.

    One is to use a printing app on the iPad.
    Most (or all) other print apps can only print pictures and/or files that have been copied to that app via Open In or other method. Print n Share used to be able to print from AirPrint enabled apps if it was loaded the background. It lost this ability with iOS 5. It may still work with iOS 4 if you get it before the app is updated in the App Store.

    The second method is to load a program on the computer that will emulate an AirPrint compatible printer. Your computer must be on and have the printer available to it. The cheapest (free) is Airprint Activator. More features can be had with FingerPrint (mac and windows) and Printopia (mac only).

    There is a third way. A few printers (mostly HP's again) can be set up with their own email address. PDF attachments can be sent via this address to be printed. The last review I saw (several months ago) said it could be quite slow (big files not recommended), and sometimes the emails got lost and never printed. The advantage was that you could literally send/print from anywhere you have an internet connection.
  11. takeshi
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    takeshi iPF Novice

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    Nope. Not unless it's an AirPrint compatible printer. Something needs to interface with AirPrint and your printer. Your non-Airprint printer cannot do this on its own.

    Well, not my cake. My network printers have their own print servers and I'd rather not have to leave my PC running. Still, FingerPrint is better IMO than no printing or having to buy an AirPrint printer. I don't like inkjets and strongly prefer sturdier, repairable, reliable and lower cost per page business class Laserjets. Your cake may differ, of course.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
  12. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Be a 'little' bit more trouble to set up, but you could dedicate a small older computer (a used Mac Mini?) as a print server. Set it up to auto start after power outages, Fingerprint (or Printopia) auto startup, set up all you wireless (and a couple wired) printers, disconnect it from the keyboard and monitor, and stuff in in a corner out of sight, powered by the same outlet/supply as the printer(s).

    Then you wouldn't have to worry about shutting your usual beast. It would just be part of your network.

    Yah, yah, I know. More trouble than it's worth; unless, perhaps, you've got a small iPad heavy business.
  13. Mketring
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    Mketring iPF Noob

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    Hope I don't sound dense but I am new to wireless issues my printers are connected to my desktop, accessible wirelessly by my laptop through a home network. If I load fingerprint so I can print from my iPad will it create problems for my home network. My prints are not wireless printer
  14. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    It should work just fine.
  15. Mrshmlo
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    Mrshmlo iPF Noob

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    Would someone tell me hhow to make FingerPrint work with IPad, iPhone and Windows . should I delete the Eurosmart print programs first? I have so many $ invested in pr
    Apps, that I think I should buy a new printer! I am a new user and t
    Find it all frustrating! I would appreciate help from one of you experts! Thanks much!
  16. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Fingerprint has a free trial. Just download it, install, and follow the instructions. Once you do so any app that has a built in print options (other than the printing apps themselves) will probably work. If it works and you like it, pay.

    It shouldn't require you to to install or deinstall any other software
  17. Chays
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    Chays iPad Enthusiast

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    Hi,

    If you go to there web, you can download the drivers for windows. Or click here for free trial:http://www.collobos.com/download/fingerprint/Win32/FingerPrintSetup.exe
    You don't need to delete eurosmart print.
    If you do purchase a new printer, purchase one that is airPrint supported, on of these:http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4356
    I'm no expert, but have done it and I don't have any complaints about the program.

    Regards,
    Chays
  18. Yarrenbool
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    Yarrenbool iPF Novice

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    Never heard of Printopia, will have to check it out.

    I use FingerPrint on a Win-7-64 computer and it sees and will print to an AirPrint HP printer, can use duplex, no big deal as it is AirPrint and would print anyway.

    But it will also see and use an old non-AirPrint network connected duplex HP Laserjet. This to me IS a big deal!

    I'm really pleased with how well FingerPrint works and have helped set it up on a couple of friends' Win systems. This weekend will be helping another friend set it up on an Apple.

    Well worth the $10!
  19. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Unlike Fingerprint, Printopia is Mac only. Last time I checked the feature list it had a couple more options than Fingerprint, like the ability to print/open to any PDF program on the Mac. Those features may or may not be useful to your friend. I've only used Printopia, so I can't offer a direct comparison between the two; but I do like Prntopia and it's been reliable.

    They cost about the same {I was wrong. Printopia cost about twice as much as Fingerprints, so whether you want the extra features becomes important}, and both have free trials, so I suggest you show both to your friend and let them decide which would work better for them. There are already links to Fingerprint, so I'll just add the link to Printopia.

    Printopia - AirPrint to Any Printer - Print from iPad - Print from iPhone - Ecamm Network
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
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  20. Knaphie
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    Knaphie iPF Noob

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    Hi Forum,
    I found your suggestions whilst looking for a solution to allow me to print to my Epson PX650 printer directly from my iPad 2. I use Windows 7 x64bit on my PC. I chose FingerPrint in my case as it doesn't care what type of printer is in use, so it allowed me to use my current printer. I figured £7 for a solution such as this is fantastic value, especially as you can trial before buying for a week!

    So... I installed the trial copy of FingerPrint program without hitch but my printer was not immediately available for use. Fingerprint showed the printer as available on the PC, but it wasn't seen by my iPad. After a bit of Googling, I managed to sort the issue. In my case I had to enable a couple of ports on my Linksys WAG320n router and my PC Firewall.

    Here's the screenshot of the settings on the Linksys page in the hope that they help others.
    LinkSys Settings for FingerPrint.jpg
    Remember to allow these ports through the Windows Firewall too.
    I hope this helps someone else.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
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