Very simple solution for printing on the iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by andrew.bussman, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. andrew.bussman macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2007
    After reading the news that the iOS 4.2 update may or may not feature printing to shared printers, I decided to use my own printing solution for the iPad and share it with everyone in case anyone else finds it helpful as well. Bear in mind, however, this is a very simple approprach to printing and does not have of the features AirPrint would have (or is going to have).

    Basically, I wrote a Folder Action that automatically prints whatever is dropped into that folder on my home computer. This script is really intended on being used for programs that can save documents to your iDisk (e.g. Pages or Numbers).

    What you need for this to work is an iPad (or course), a computer that is left on all the time and connected to a printer (printer sharing does not need to be turned on), and an iDisk (or WebDAV or whatever).

    1. Create a folder on your iDisk that will be used to print items added to it. Something like "Print Folder" in your Documents folder.

    2. Add the following folder action to the folder:

    on adding folder items to this_folder after receiving these_items
    	tell application "Finder"
    		repeat with this_item in these_items
    			print this_item
    			move this_item to the trash
    		end repeat
    	end tell
    end adding folder items to
    That's it! Now every time you save or copy a document to that folder on your iDisk from your iPad, your home computer will open it up, print it, and then delete it from the folder. Just note: Sometimes my computer can take a minute got this Folder Action to run, so be patient; it's something to do with Folder Actions in Mac OS X, there's sometimes a delay in activating them.

    Let me know if this works for anyone else or if you have any suggestions!
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    I have also seen people add print actions to mail items with special subjects like print_from_iPad. Yours looks good too.
  3. fpnc macrumors 68000

    Oct 30, 2002
    San Diego, CA
  4. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Very nice.

    Seems this approach could work with DropBox too. If you don't know about DropBox, here's a tutorial: When you install DropBox on a computer (Mac or PC, or iPhone/iPad), it establishes a folder on your machine, and anything you put into that folder gets copied to all your other computers. (It's also copied to your secure workspace on the DropBox server, which can be accessed through any browser. Files are versioned, too, so if you do something stupid you can log in using a browser and pull down an earlier version.)

    You get 2GB for free. And if you sign up via I'll get a little storage bonus ;-)

    I've used folder actions before, and this approach seems like a great use of them.
  5. hitekalex macrumors 68000


    Feb 4, 2008
    Chicago, USA
    Yes, you can do the same with DropBox (which in my opinion is infinitely more useful than iDisk, not to mention free up to 2GB!).

    I do bunch of similar things with DropBox on my iPad.. for example - drop a torrent file in a DropBox folder on my iPad, and my Mac at home automatically picks up up and starts downloading..

    Another nice thing about this method is that unlike AirPrint - you don't have to be on the same WiFi network for this to work.
  6. jmann macrumors 604


    Dec 8, 2007
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    This is an awesome idea! I'm gonna have to try it out. :D

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