Wi-Fi Printing

Discussion in 'AirPrint' started by jcaswell, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. jcaswell
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    jcaswell iPF Novice

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    Have a Lexmark Wi-Fi printer that I want to use to print from my iPad2. The various App reviews I have seen have left me confused as to which App (or combination of Apps) to use. Can anyone make any recommendations?
  2. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    Apple have their own proprietary printing protocol called 'AirPrint'. Only a few printers support it at present - HP is one of those that do and you can see if your model is on the list at the Apple web site

    Apple - iPad 2 - Print right from your iPad with AirPrint.


    If it is there, then you can print directly under iOS 4.2 and 4.3 from apps that support in-app printing, such as Apple's iPad iWorks suite ('Pages', 'Numbers' and 'Keynote'). Not all apps support in-app printing, so you need to check out whether the app you're interested in does. For example, Apple's native iPad 'Calendar' app does not support in-app printing.

    If your printer is not on the list then there are third-party apps that can help. Some printer manufacturers have released apps for PCs with their printers connected (i.e. Lexmark). On these models, an app on your PC or Mac 'pretends' to be an AirPrint printer and the app translates the AirPrint printing protocol into a form that the printer understands.

    However, there are standalone apps for the iPad and 'Print N Share' is one of the best known. It can print directly from the iPad to a WiFi printer without any PC being involved. It does this by 'pretending' to be an AirPrint printer. It then, similar to the previous case, translates the AirPrint printing protocol to a form that your printer understands.

    Most all WiFi equipped printers are supported by 'Print N Share' but even those few that are not are able to print via a PC using, again, a small (free) app that's available from the developers of 'Print N Share'. Once again, this app sits on your PC or Mac and links your iPad to the printer via your PC - meaning, too, that the printer can be WiFi, USB or even Bluetooth. The downside is that the PC has to be switched on.

    One 'issue' that sometimes confounds users of 'Print N Share' is that this only works under iOS 4.2 or 4.3 - the iPad's 'multi-tasking' operating system (OS). 'Print N Share' needs to be loaded and running before you can print!! So, if you're going to be doing some printing, you need to first of all fire up 'Print N Share' and leave it running in the background. You can check whether it is running by double tapping the iPad's 'Home' button, to see the tasks that are 'loaded' in the 'Multi-task' menu bar. For various reasons, it's helpful if 'Print N Share' was loaded quite recently. If you haven't printed for a while, use the multi-task bar to 're-activate' it.

    If you're happy to leave your PC switched on then another - and probably better - way forward is to use a PC program called FingerPrint. This is a program that runs on your PC and makes it 'look' like an AirPrint printer. It's as close as you'll get to plug-and-play printing for non-AirPrint printers. You simply download the program (there's a free 7-day version available so you can try it at no risk), install it, start the program (it automatically inserts itself into the PC's startup menu) choose the printers you want to offer to the iPad - it shows you the usual list that you get from a regular Windows print dialog box - and that's it. When you want to print on your iPad (there's no separate app for the iPad) you simply choose the print menu in apps that support in-app printing and FingerPrint makes your PC look like an AirPrint printer. You'll be offered, in the iPad, the choice of printers that you selected on the PC and off you go. FingerPrint receives the printing data from the iPad over WiFi and translates it into a form that your printer understands. I have it on my PC and it works just great.

    Hope this helps, but don't hesitate to post any more detailed questions that you might have.

    Tim
    Scotland
  3. jcaswell
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    jcaswell iPF Novice

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    Thank you for this full answer. I tried the Lexmark specific app, and had limited success - I could print pictures and web sites, but the printer was not available for documents or emails. I then tried FingerPrint, and after a bit of experimentation, got it working with all types of print that I am likely to want. I will play with it for a few days and then buy it.

    Thanks again for the answer
  4. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    Good to hear. If you have any remaining issues let us know.

    Tim
  5. giradman
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    giradman iPad Super Guru

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    Just to add a 'thumbs up' to Tim's recommendation of FingerPrint - I took his advice on a previous post a number of weeks ago - the program works beautifully w/ my Canon Pixma printer! Recommended - :)
  6. ChiTown52
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    ChiTown52 iPF Noob

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    Hi, I use the print and Share and it worked fine until I updated my iPad. Now it does not work. Any oreads on how to fix it? What it does is time out and give me a message that says the paper tray is empty when it is really full.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  7. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    You might want to try entirely quitting the app in the Multi-task bar. Double click the Home button to open the multi-task bar, then press and hold any icon in the bar until they all start to jiggle, then touch the upper left hand corner of the 'Print N Share' app to completely close it. Note, this only closes the app, it does not delete it when the icon is in the multi-task bar. Now touch the Home button again to close the bar and try again.

    Tim
  8. ChiTown52
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    ChiTown52 iPF Noob

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    I tried this but it still does not work

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  9. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    OK - what doesn't work? The new update, unfortunately, removed the in-app printing capability so now you have to transfer the document to PrintNShare and print from there.

    Tim
  10. ChiTown52
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    ChiTown52 iPF Noob

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    Thanks Tim, but how do I transfer the document??. I just went thru the print button and see no where that it says transfer in any of the areas to open.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  11. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    OK - you transfer it by touching the document and then you should see a pop up box offering you the option to 'Open In' and one option will be PrintNShare. That will then transfer the document to that app and the iPad will transfer to that app too, from where you'll be able to print the document.

    Tim
  12. ChiTown52
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    ChiTown52 iPF Noob

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    Thanks Tim!

    I just got the printer to work again by; deleting it and reinstalling it. Now it works fine as it should. Thanks for all your troubleshooting help that you have done to help me.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  13. ChrisC
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    ChrisC iPF Noob

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    Thanks to Tim Spracklen for the advice about printing to a network printer. Was able to print documents to a networked Laserwriter. That was over 25 years ago when I was printing from a BBC computer to Tim's networked LaserWriter 5 offices away. Just bought an iPad and trying to print. That's progress for you!!!
  14. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    Good to hear from you, Chris. How are you these days?

    Tim
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