General Productivity

Step-by-Step with Google Cloud Print to FedEx Office

Yesterday Google announced they added the Print to FedEx Office option to the Google Cloud Print service. Last fall I bought a Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 scanner (which I absolutely love) and I’ve been slowly working towards a more paperless office. I don’t use a lot of paper, but sometimes it’s still a necessary evil. When I’m traveling I occasionally need to print something so I thought that while I’m out of town this week teaching a SharePoint class in Chicago (nearby Oakbrook Terrace to be exact), I would give this service a try. Here is my complete experience, step-by-step, with pictures and screenshots.

  1. I had a PDF I wanted to print so I uploaded it to my Google Docs account.
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  2. After the file uploaded I opened it In the Chrome browser using the built-in PDF viewer. Then I clicked the Print button.
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  3. It opened in the Print Previewer where I selected a Destination of Print with Google Cloud Print and clicked the Print button.
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  4. A new window opens where I can select from all my available Google Cloud Printers, including the local printer attached to my desktop computer back home. I selected the Print to FedEx Office printer and clicked the Print button.
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  5. It showed a message in the printer selection window stating that it was Creating a new print job… This took a couple minutes for my 9-page (3.21Mb) document. I thought it might have hanged or something, but I continued to patiently wait.
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  6. Finally it gave me a page with a retrieval code. It’s OK to close this page without making a note of the Retrieval Code because…image
  7. …I received an email in my Gmail account with a link to this same page.
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  8. Later in the afternoon I drove to the nearest FedEx Office location and went inside.
  9. I expected that I would need to show the code to someone at the counter. Everyone was busy so I waited for a minute or two until a very helpful young man named Albert asked me if I could help me. I showed him the retrieval code on my phone and told him it was a Google Cloud Print document. He took me over to the copiers that were lined up against a wall and instructed me to insert my credit card in the copy & print control beside the copier. I did so. Note, it keeps your card in the printer throughout the entire process, so don’t forget to get it when you’re done.
  10. The screen showed options for Copy, Print from USB, and Print with Retrieval Code. I pressed the latter option.
  11. I entered in my Retrieval Code and pressed OK.
  12. Since there was only one document in my print job, it was already selected, so I just clicked Next on the screen to select a document.
  13. It took a couple minutes to download the document. Albert said those machines don’t have much RAM and that was the reason it takes so long.
  14. It then showed me a preview of the document to confirm it was correct and I just pressed the Next button.
  15. After this there is a screen where you can set the number of copies and the color options. I tapped the the Color Options button here because I didn’t want it in color.
  16. I changed it to the Black & White option and clicked the OK button.
  17. It showed me the color change had been applied and I tapped the Next button.
  18. It showed me what my final settings were and how much it was going to cost—including tax. I thought it was a pretty good deal. I clicked the Print button.
  19. It sent the document to the printer and confirmed it. It took a couple minutes for it to go over and Albert said once again that it was due to the low amount of RAM in the machines. When it printed, I pressed the Done button and it gave my credit card back to me.
  20. After I got back to my hotel, visited the Google Cloud Print web site at google.com/cloudprint. I clicked on Printers > Print to FedEx Office > Show Print Jobs.
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  21. In the list of print jobs, I selected the print job and clicked the Delete button. I did this to ensure that none of my readers here could use that Retrieval Code to print my document.
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Overall this was a really simple and easy process. Now that I’ve been through it once, I’m sure it will be even easier next time. I should also remember that this is an option when I need to print something when I’m traveling.

Now that I have Google Cloud Print all set up on my home computer, I like the fact that I can share something with the Cloud Print app for Android on my Galaxy Nexus phone or Motorola Xoom tablet to print things to my office printer at home. Currently the app doesn’t seem to support Print to FedEx Office but I expect it will be coming very soon.

Did you find this step-by-step guide helpful? Do you have something more to add? Do you have some questions about the experience? If so, let me know in the comments!

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