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5 Ways To Print When You Don’t Have A Printer

Although inkjet printers are dirt cheap, and even color laser printers are surprisingly affordable, many people still don’t own a printer. Often this has nothing to do with financial considerations; it’s just that they print so rarely that there’s no justification for buying a machine that’s going to collect dust. However, those occasions when you need something printed out do tend to roll around once in a while. Here are five ways to print when you don’t have a printer.

1. Use Windows and Linux Print to PDF Option

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Windows 7, 8, and 10 all have an option to print to PDF, and it’s built right into the OS. The same applies to many Linux systems, such as Ubuntu 18.04, as shown above. Simply choose the printer as the ‘Print to PDF‘ option, and then follow the prompts and change settings as desired.

You can also choose to ‘Print to file‘ and save it as a PDF. In windows, there is a little box to check that says Print to file. For Ubuntu 18.04, the option is listed under the printer selection, along with the ‘Print to PDF’ option, as shown above.

Adobe also has a browser add-on for printing webpages as pdf files. Libre Office Writer has an Export as PDF option. So, there are many ways to print a document, image, or filled-in form. Just be sure to look at the preview as you adjust your settings so that it turns out the way you want. When you open the pdf file, it will look the same as when you print it.

Now, you have a ‘digital copy’ that you can save to a USB stick. This method allows you to have the document ready to print when you find a place to print [3] it.

2. Use Third-Party PDF Applications

There are several third-party programs available that also add a print option from the print menu, such as doPDF by Softland and PDF24 Creator by PDF24, but they also offer editing and creation features to some extent. If one pdf option didn’t look that good, another might work great. [4]

The reason we mentioned PDF as a printing option is because the format is universal. It was created by Adobe and designed to look the same on any computer that supports it, which is almost everything. Therefore, your printout will look the same regardless of the device you use to print it.

PDF isn’t the only option you have, though.

3. Fax or Email Instead of Print

Faxing Your Document

If you need to send a filled-in form, a copy of a specific document, or even a report to someone, why not just fax it? As long as the receiver has a fax machine, they may allow you to send the document by electronic transmission. All you have to do is ask. Many office and shipping stores have fax machines that charge a small fee to send faxes, such as Staples and The UPS Store. One store could be closer to you than a source that has a printer. All you need is your USB stick with the PDF file. There are also third-party applications that allow faxing from your PC using the Internet, such as FaxZero. [5]

Emailing Your Document

Rather than delay time waiting for a printer and dropping the paper off to the recipient, you can simply email the receiver with the information. A filled-in form or other print media can be converted to PDF using ‘option 1’ or ‘option 2’ above and then sent to the recipient through email. The document may not even need to be converted, depending on what the recipient can view on their end. Once again, you’ll have to get their approval first, but it is usually not a problem.

4. Print from The Library or Your Workplace

If you absolutely must have a paper printout, your local library or place of work are two great options to print your docs when you don’t have a printer. Many libraries have embraced the computer revolution and have fully-equipped computer labs, including printers. You may have to pay by the page, or you may have a modest daily allowance of free prints.

You can also print from work, with permission, of course. Some employers don’t mind an occasional print, as long as you don’t get carried away.

5. Print from Home without a Printer

Yes, printing from home without a printer does sound illogical, right? In today’s technological world, virtual printing is possible. You can cloud print to stores like The UPS Store and FedEx stores, right from your computer and Web browser! You’ll have to pick up your printout, but at least it provides a quicker way than waiting for a printer to be available elsewhere, like when you visit a family member.

If you haven’t noticed, many methods listed above integrate to form several printing solutions. Making a PDF allows you to visit a printing store, the library, or your workplace. Online faxing allows the uploading of PDFs or other formats. Having a USB stick that holds your document means you are ready to print from anywhere. The list could go on for a while. In different terms, you have now discovered several tools, individually or in combination, that allow you to print without owning a printer!