PrintBot Setup

I've set up the new Android 4.4 (Kitkat) version, but the printer doesn't appear in the print dialog?

Please (re-)start the print service. You can do this from the Android settings menu. Just choose Printers/ PrintBot.

The test page prints perfectly, but how do I print other files?

For Android 4.4 (Kitkat):

Just use your favourite viewer app and use the "Print" menu. E.g. the browser for printing web pages, the image gallery for printing images and a PDF viewer for printing PDFs.

For Android < 4.4:

PrintBot has its own file chooser for printing documents from the SD card. You can also print from any application which allows to open files, e.g. the browser, a mail app or a file manager. PrintBot is associated with image and PDF files. Simply tap on the file and in the following dialog choose PrintBot. In many applications, you can also use "Send" or "Share". In the following dialog choose PrintBot.

Does it work over the UMTS network?

Basically no. PrintBot accesses your printer directly, so it will only work when your Android device is in the same network as the printer (usually by Wi-Fi). If you really know what your're doing, you can disable the WiFi check using "Settings/Advanced". Use at your own risk!

What protocol should I use?

In many cases, both LPR and JetDirect protocols will work.

  • LPR allows you to specify a printer queue, so you can choose a printer if more than one printer is attached to a print server.
  • For printers which are attached directly to a network, JetDirect may be easier to set up.

What should I put in the host name field?

In many cases, putting in the host name of your printer won't work, as your Android device probably is not capable of resolving the names in your local network. So putting in the IP address of your printer (or print server) is the safest solution. If your print server is running on a non-standard port, an IP:port syntax is also possible.

I don't know the IP address of my printer/the IP address of my printer keeps changing.

The current version has an additional auto scan feature. This is still experimental, but please try.

My printer does not have any network. It is attached to my Windows PC.

Windows 7 comes with LPR support as a "Windows feature". This will work if you

  • install and enable the LPD service on your PC via System Settings/Programs and Features
  • use LPR as the protocol
  • put in your PC's IP address as host
  • put in the printer name as queue

For Windows Vista or XP you have to install LPR on your PC in a similar way. This is beyond the scope of this FAQ.

My printer does not have any network. It is attached to my Mac.

Mac OS X already comes with LPR support. This will work if you

  • enable printer sharing on your Mac
  • use LPR as the protocol
  • put in your Mac's IP address as host
  • put in the printer name as queue
  • on some Macs, you may have to use cupsctl 'BrowseLocalProtocols="cups dnssd lpd smb"' to enable the LPR protocol.

The quality of pictures is worse compared to printing with my PC.

PrintBot is based on Linux printer drivers. Unfortunately, not all Linux drivers are equal in quality compared to the Windows ones.