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In the iPad's early days, one of the features users missed most was the ability to print. Here you had all these great documents you created on your iPad, but the only way to print them was to transfer them to your computer and then print them from there, which is really clunky. Printing has gotten easier, thanks to an iOS update that includes the ability to print wirelessly to a supported printer. This feature is called AirPrint. The difficulty is finding a printer that supports AirPrint. As we record this, only a handful of Hewlett-Packard printers support AirPrint.
Let's look at configuring one of these HP printers. I wish that I could say that there was a lot to do, but quite honestly, there isn't. The printer must be on the same wireless network that the iPad is connected to. AirPrint works only over Wi-Fi. Printing over Bluetooth or 3G isn't supported. Once you have Wi-Fi set up, all you need to do is be sure that the printer is switched on. So we'll give this a try. I'm going to launch Pages. Open a document. To print it, I tap on the Tools menu and I tap Print.
I tap on Printer, and it automatically finds my printer. I didn't have to do a thing. I tap on the printer and now I have some printing options. I can choose to print all pages or a range of pages. I can also choose multiple copies, if I choose. So, click plus, more copies; minus, fewer. And so now I just tap Print. In a few seconds, the printer will start printing. Now, printing from the iPad is still in its infancy and is likely to get easier as printer manufacturers support AirPrint and Apple and others find ways to bring printing to unsupported printers.
In the meantime, this is how it's done.
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