How to Print from Your iPad: Summary of Printer and Printing Options

Written by Andy Brovey

Topics: iPad Tips & Tutorials

When you can, use your iPad to save money, paper and time by sending and processing documents electronically. For those times when a printout is required or desired, here are three options for dealing with printing from your iPad.

Option One
An AirPrint capable printer.
AirPrint is an Apple technology built into the iOS to support printing from the iPad. To print directly to a printer from the iPad, the printer itself must be AirPrint capable and on the same wireless network as your iPad. A number of printers from Brother, Canon, Epson, HP and Lexmark have this feature. Apple offers a list of models here.
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4356

Option Two
A program that connects to a printer through your computer.
With this solution, you send the iPad print job to your computer, which then sends it to the connected printer. You install a software program on your computer that processes the print job sent from your iPad. Here are three such programs.

Printopia (Mac Only) $19.95
http://www.ecamm.com/mac/printopia/

AirPrint Activator (Mac Only) Free
http://netputing.com/airprintactivator/airprint-activator-v2-0/

Fingerprint (Mac or Windows) $9.99
http://www.collobos.com/

Option Three
An iPad App
Here are three apps that support printing from your iPad to wireless printers. The printer must be on the same wireless network as the iPad. These apps can also connect to printers attached to your computer. The computer shares connected printers with the iPad through a helper application.

PrintCentral ($8.99)
Mac or Wirndows
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/printcentral/id366020849?mt=8
Communicates directly with Wi-Fi printers. You can also install a helper application on your Mac called WePrint (free) that lets it work with other printers. For example, a printer connected to your computer via USB.

Also see PrintBureau ($19.99) by the same company.
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/printbureau/id363371015?mt=8

Printer Pro ($6.99)
Mac or Windows
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/printer-pro/id393313223?mt=8
Can print directly to many Wi-Fi printers. Printer Pro Desktop Software (free) allows you to use printers connected to your Mac or Windows PC. The Printer Pro app communicates with the desktop software to process print jobs.

7 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Jerry Rioux says:

    The first time I tried to AirPrint from my iPad to my HP7515 was VERY frustrating. I kept “printing” and nothing happened. I searched and searched for help. I finally found a suggestion that I turn off bluetooth. I did, and I could then print.

    What a stupid conflict – bluetooth enables my keyboard, but prevents me from printing!

    • Andy Brovey says:

      Great tip Jerry! Followed up and found the Bluetooth conflict mentioned a number of times on the web.

  2. Annette says:

    Any ideas on how to print from ipad to a portable printer? Working in the field and need to be able to print off surveys for customers to sign on site.

  3. Marilyn Anderson says:

    Found the answer to my problem of how to delete photos from my iPad that I had transferred from my computer—worked perfectly & was easy to understand. Thank you so much!

  4. Susan says:

    I just downloaded AirPrint Activator and within seconds I was printing from my iPad. Thank you!