Pro tip: Sharing Google cloud print printers

Jack Wallen shows you how to share out printers attached to your Google account via the Cloud Print Manager.

Google Cloud Print Manager

My wife doesn't want a printer cluttering up her office space. So, how does she print when she uses a Chromebook and a Samsung Galaxy S4? She shares the same printer I use for my Linux desktop, my Chromebooks, and my Android devices.

But how? You can't network a printer from either a Chromebook or an Android device.

Oh, but you can... sort of. In a similar fashion to sharing documents on Google Drive, you can also share printers associated with Google Cloud Print. These printers don't have to be official Google cloud-ready printers. In fact, I have what Google calls a "classic" printer connected to my Google account (through Google Chrome on my Ubuntu desktop). That printer can be shared out as well. Let me show you how this is done, so you can offer up your cloud printer to anyone you choose (as long as they have a Google account).

The first thing you need to do is log into your Google Account. Once you've done that, hop on over to the Google Cloud Print Manager. From within the manager (Figure A), select the printer you want to share, and then click Share.

Figure A

Figure A
Sharing out a printer attached to your Google Cloud Print Manager.

When you click the Share button, a pop-up will appear, asking you to enter the email address, name, or group of the target user(s). Enter that user, and click Share (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B
Sharing with users.

The next time the user goes to print, he or she will see a warning that someone is attempting to share a printer with them. If they click Accept on the warning, that user will be able to access the printer at any time or location (as long as there's a network connection).

Don't let anyone say you can't "network" a printer with either Android or Chrome OS. You can -- sort of -- and it works like a champ. With this feature, you can print to that cloud printer from anywhere and at any time.

How do you cover printing needs while you're on the go? Share your method in the discussion thread below.

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....