As an iPad user, I come across many times when I would like to be able to share something I have created. The first question to arise may be, “How do I share this?” or “Can I print this?” I want to give some tips for easily sharing from your iPad and even how to print when necessary. The first and most important concept to understand is that your iPad does not function like a computer. It does not have a file system where you can search through folders, find files, and attach them or print them. On the iPad, each app functions separately from other apps. With that in mind here are some ways you can share from your iPad to other devices and even printers.

  • Setup a cloud storage account like Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive. These cloud storage options allow you to sync to a desktop folder on your computer. With Dropbox, for example, Dropbox installs a folder on your computer. Once you add files to that folder on your computer they will sync to the Dropbox iPad app. You can also add files from the iPad app and they will sync with your computer. If you need to print, you can always add files and photos from your iPad and go to your Dropbox folder on the computer to print or use in documents, etc.

Dropbox sync

  • Don’t forgot that handy screenshot feature – you can take a picture of almost anything on your iPad screen. Just press the lock button (on top) and the home button (at the bottom of the screen) at the same time to take a picture of your screen. This photo goes directly to your camera roll and can be emailed or shared from the camera roll. (Added bonus: if you setup your cloud service like Dropbox or Box to sync with your pictures it will automatically add your iPad pictures to a folder and now you can see them and use them on your desktop too.)
  • Use the “Open in . . . ” feature of the iPad to open a project or file in another app. As you use the iPad, you will begin to notice a small share button in most apps. It looks like a square with an arrow coming out of it. iOS Share icon Once you tap this icon, you will be given the opportunity to open your file or project with other apps on your iPad. Many times this process will upload, add, or import your file directly to that app.

Open In Options labeled

  • One solution that is available in most every app is the ability to email. From most apps, you can email a document, photo, or project to your email account. Open the email from your computer and print or distribute from your computer. Watch out for size though, email limits the size you can send. For example, you may not be able to email a video.
  • Use Photo Stream with your iCloud Apple ID to share photos to your desktop computer. With Photo Stream enabled on your iPad (or other Apple device) and desktop computer, the pictures you take on the iPad will automatically be added to your Photo Stream which can then be accessed on your computer. You can take a screenshot or photo with your iPad, go to your computer and access that photo for creating a document, emailing, etc. iCloud Photo Stream is available on Windows too. Click this link for more info: https://www.apple.com/icloud/setup/pc.html
  • If you are just looking to create documents and spreadsheets, give the Google Drive app a try. With the Drive app, you can create and edit documents and spreadsheets which can be shared and edited just as you can on the computer. You can also access many of your files that you have added to your Google Drive account. Drive lets you upload photos and ‘Open in’ to save and share projects in your Google Drive from other apps.

Drive app explained

  • If you are in a position where you must print from your iPad take a look at the PrinterPro App ($6.99 in the app store). Printer Pro is an app for the iPad (and other devices) that allows you to print to a printer connected to your desktop computer. Printer Pro requires a free program that is installed on your Windows or Mac computer. This program connects your iPad to the printer connected to your computer. I would recommend trying out the Printer Pro Lite version first to make sure that it will work with your setup. You can also setup this app for printer use at home too.

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