Print is almost dead in this all-digital world, but there are still things that can’t be easily digitized: shipping labels, bulletin board flyers, print by e-mail for your boss and pasting prank memes in your colleagues’ cubicles. And in this day and age where you do almost everything on your phone, it’s nice to be able to print from it instead of having to jump to the computer.
Apple has managed to build one of the easiest methods of printing from a smartphone by getting many printer manufacturers to adopt its AirPrint wireless printing feature. Apple also has a really easy way to create PDF documents instead of a traditional hard copy – if you know how to get there. In this article, we will show you both.
Printing with AirPrint
It’s important to note that printing via AirPrint may not support all printer features, but you’ll likely get options for: number of copies, range, paper size, orientation, scaling, and other basic features.
To get started, you must have access to a wireless or network printer that supports Apple’s AirPrint driverless printing system. If you don’t have a printer yet, see how to choose the right one. If you bought a wireless printer in the last five years (or even up to 10 years in the case of HP), chances are it already supports AirPrint. Some printer manufacturers may also include an app that can print files from your device or through their own cloud service, but these are usually not as easy or enjoyable as AirPrint.
Next, make sure your iPhone and printer are connected to the same wireless network. Alternatively, if your printer has an Ethernet port, you can connect it directly to your wireless router with an Ethernet cable and still be able to AirPrint from your iPhone. In a corporate environment, your IT department may need to open this feature to allow printing from your iPhone.
OK – now it’s time to print something:
- Open what you want to print: an email or email attachment, a web page in Safari, a file in Files, a photo, etc.
- Click on Share open the shared sheet, then scroll down and tap Printing knob. Some applications may have the Print button elsewhere. For example, to print an email message in the Mail app, you need to tap Answer button and then find Printing at the bottom of the list of answer options.
- On Print options on the screen that appears, select your printer if it is not already the default option.
- You can now choose the range of pages you want to print, the number of copies, enable double-sided printing, and various other printing options.
- Tap Printingand it works!
You can view the print queue/order status by swiping up from the bottom of the screen (iPhone with Face ID or iPad) or double-clicking the Home button (iPhone with Touch ID) to access the app switcher. You can also cancel printing here if it hasn’t finished yet.
Print to PDF file
It’s amazing how a useful feature like print to PDF is treated like an easter egg in iOS – especially since macOS has had an easily visible Save as PDF option for years. There is no print to PDF button on iOS; you instead Enlargement to the document to get the option:
- Use the instructions above to go to Print options screen for the file or page you want to convert to PDF (see instructions above).
- Pinch the print preview of the document as if you wanted to zoom in on it. They fly at you like you’ve entered a new stage of a video game.
- You now have the document open as a PDF. From this screen, you can scroll through pages, zoom in and search for text, all to confirm that the document you want looks right.
- Click on Share bottom left button.
- Choose Save to files enter where you want to save the document, or select another app to send to someone directly, such as Mail, Messages, or AirDrop.
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