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Learn How to Print from a Tablet or Smartphone

Whether you're creating a business presentation, writing a school report or simply writing a letter, using a computer allows you to perfect your content and present it in the best way possible. Add wireless printing technology, and you can immediately bring that material from your computer into the real world with just a few clicks of a mouse.

Smartphones and tablets have continued in this tradition, offering you significant mobility so you're no longer tethered to a desktop. Printing out your creations, however, still requires the use of a printer. Despite some differences between printing from a phone and printing from a PC, when you utilize the proper applications, printing should be as easy as ever.

Making the Network Connection

Printing from your smartphone or tablet allows you to save time downloading content created away from your home or office to your home or office PC for printing. It also allows you to print from any networked wireless printer.

The key to wireless printing from a smartphone or tablet is getting the device to communicate with your existing network. In order to do this, you'll need to know precisely what sort of network you're using. Most homes and small offices use a simple local area network (LAN) that includes computers and printers. You'll need to have a wireless network to enable wireless printing options from your mobile device.

Connect your smartphone or tablet to the network using the device's setup options. The connection process differs from one device to another, but connection is fairly simple. Set the device to Wi-Fi mode and wait as it searches for your existing network. Once you've found the network, highlight the network name in the setup menu and type in the requested login credentials. After you connect to your network, you can print wirelessly by selecting your network printer from within the print application, then selecting the print command.

Not all smartphones ship with applications for wireless printing, but third-party applications are available. To use these applications, you'll need to download them with a mobile or tablet device. Once the application is installed, you can launch it on your phone and use the software to send your print commands to the printer.

Printing a Document from your Mobile Device

Most smartphones and tablets already have printing capabilities, but some older models may require installation of new applications to allow successful interfacing with your specific printer. Your printer manufacturer's Web site will sometimes have applications for use with their printers available for download.

For example, Epson, HP and Brother printers offer apps that allow you to connect to their printers. For iOS devices, you can download Apple's AirPrint, and Google Cloud Print allows you to print documents directly from a Gmail or Google Docs account. HP's ePrint-enabled printers allow you to email print jobs from your mobile device directly to any ePrint enabled printer.

The Costs of Mobile Printing

Little to no additional cost is involved in printing from your smartphone or tablet.

Newer smartphones and tablets come with the necessary wireless networking software, and printing applications are freely available from manufacturers. You may encounter a small cost if your older smartphone forces you to use a third-party application.

The Bottom Line

Wireless printing helps you expand the functionality of your mobile devices. You can create and print content on the device just as you would on a PC. Wireless printing from smartphones and tablets is quick and easy after the initial setup process, allowing you to generate hard copies of your documents anywhere you go.

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