How to print from a Chromebook

It's true, you can print from Chrome OS using Google's Cloud Print solution.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

There's no shortage of myths and misconceptions regarding Google's Chrome OS. Most commonly found on a slew of Chromebooks, Chrome OS is more than a glorified browser. Under the hood, it offers file management, standalone apps, and, yes, printing.

Puzzled as to why printing from a Chromebook is such a big deal? It's easy to assume Chrome OS is incapable of printing for a couple of reasons. First, when you click on the print button a dialogue displays asking you where you'd like to save a PDF version of the document or Web page. Second, Chrome OS doesn't offer the ability to connect a printer via USB and select it as an available printer. But it's possible to print from a Chromebook to any Google Cloud Print-connected printer.

To get started you'll need to go through the Cloud Print process for the printer (or printers) you would like to access from your Chromebook. Having a cloud-enabled printer is going to make the process a lot easier, but it's still possible with a more traditional printer restricted to using a USB connection.

Follow the setup instructions on Google's Cloud Print site, where you'll be walked through the process based on the brand and model of your printer.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

After connecting a printer to Cloud Print, you're ready to print from your Chromebook. You can either select File > Print in the menubar, or use the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl + P. A print dialogue like the one above will present itself. Instead of clicking on Save, click on the small link at the bottom of the screen that beings with "Print with Google Cloud Print..." Alternatively you can use Ctrl + Shift + P to directly open the Cloud Print dialogue.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Lastly, you'll be presented with a list of available printers to select from. Click on the printer you want to use, make sure the settings are to your liking and click "Print." Walk over to the printer with your cup of coffee in hand, pick up the physical manifestation of your once digital document and gaze in wonder at just how easy that was.

For more Chromebook how-to content, be sure to check out this page dedicated to all things Chrome OS.