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Sometimes, you just gotta have it on paper. From sign-up sheets to important contracts, there's always a time to bust out the printer and scanner. But how do you get your document from here to there using your Chromebook? We'll show you how.

Adding and saving a printer on ChromeOS

You do not need to add and save a printer or scanner to use it with your Chromebook. That being said, if you do own a printer or scanner, saving it to your device lets you tailor some settings if you absolutely want to.

  1. Select the time to open Quick Settings.
  2. Hit the gear icon (⚙️) in the panel to head to your full system settings.
  3. Expand the Advanced section and select Print and scan.
  4. Select Printers.
  5. If your Chromebook and printer are on the same LAN or connected via USB, you should be able to see that printer listed under the Add printer item.
    Manually adding a printer through the Print and Scan section of ChromeOS's system settings.
  6. Select the Plus symbol (+) next to the printer listing to save the printer to your Chromebook.

You can also manually add a printer that isn't automatically recognized by selecting the button to the right of Add printer. In the pop-up window, you'll need to input a name, the address and connection protocol of the machine, and the queue characteristic. You can also select Print server to specify a print server location instead.

Once saved, the printer listing moves up to the section labeled Your saved printers. Selecting the three-dot icon on the right-hand side allows you to remove the printer from your saved list or edit its address, protocol, and driver support configuration.

Printing from a Chromebook

Whether you're using a saved printer or not, you'll be able to print a document from your Chromebook by following these instructions:

  1. Open your document or webpage that you'd like to print and then press Ctrl + P.
  2. Next to Destination, look for your printer in the drop-down menu. You can also choose to save the document as a PDF to your Downloads folder.
  3. Set how many copies and which pages you want to print.
  4. Select Print.

You can check on the status of your print job by heading to the Print and scan settings and selecting Print jobs.

Scanning from a Chromebook

ChromeOS has a dedicated Scan app if you have a scanner you can connect to. To use it:

  1. Open your Launcher, look for and then open the Scan app.
  2. If your Chromebook is able to detect a scanner or scanners, the app will prompt you to set the scanner, the source, the file destination, and type. Use the drop-down menus to interact.
  3. Hit the Scan button to initiate the job.

You may also scan a document without a dedicated scanner if your Chromebook has a decent webcam or an exterior-facing camera if you have a tablet.

  1. Open the Camera app.
  2. Select Scan and then Document.
  3. Move your device and frame the document with the viewfinder. The Camera app will automatically place a bounding box on anything it detects as a document.
  4. Press the shutter button.
  5. Select Save as PDF. You will find this file in your Camera folder.

That's all there is to printing and scanning with a Chromebook. Of course, you'll have your own difficulties from printer to printer and scanner to scanner, so it's best to consult your owner's manual if you have connection issues you need to troubleshoot. If you're on the go without your Chromebook and have some docs you need to be sorted, XDA Developers also has a guide on how to print them from your Android device.