It can be stressful to be out of the house and need a printer. Just where do you go when you need to print documents? What if you need to print a copy of your lease, a crisp resume, or a character sheet for your favorite tabletop RPG, but don’t know where to go?
Fortunately, you have several other options if you know where to look to print documents away from home.
Thanks to mobile and cloud technologies, the best-outsourced printing solutions are at your fingertips. Here are five ways to print documents on the go.
1. Try Copy and Print Shops
Copy and print shops aren’t as common as they used to be but exist solely to help you print documents.
Many of the print shops you’ll come across aren’t big chains, but rather locally owned. This is great if you try to support local businesses, but prices at these establishments can vary considerably.
To find a copy or print shop nearby, open your favorite search engine and enter: “copy print shop [zip code]”, or if your location is switched on, then just type “Print shop near me” or “printing documents near me”. It’s as easy as that!
2. Print in an Office Supply Store
You might not need to buy office supplies at these stores anymore, but if you need something printed, and you need it fast, office supply stores are a great place to go. Staples Cloud Printing and Office Depot/OfficeMax Printing Services both offer on-the-spot printing and copying in the United States. Staples and Office Depot are also present in the UK.
Prices are generally good at these stores: at Office Depot, a single-sided black-and-white page is $0.10, and the color is $0.50 (Staples advertises $0.14 and $0.59, correct at time of writing). You can also get volume discounts if you’re printing hundreds of pages. This could save a lot of money if you need conference handouts or one extremely large document, like a dissertation.
Printing documents at office supply stores also affords you a wide variety of options, e.g.:
- Hole punching
…and other features, making office supply stores some of the best places to print documents. Plus, you can print anything you want, from simple documents to large posters, and business cards to brochures.
3. Use Printers in Public or University Libraries
Can’t find an office supply store or a shipping provider when you need a document printed right away? Why not use a printer at a public library?
If you’ve ever wondered, “do libraries have printers?” the answer is almost always, yes!
Unfortunately, it’s hard to find anywhere that will let you print documents for free nowadays. While it’s hard to estimate prices, typical prices are $0.10 for black-and-white pages and $0.50 for color pages, but this can vary depending on the library.
Many public libraries also offer cloud printing services. To find out how to print at your local library, head to their website for details.
University libraries may allow non-students to use their computers and printers, although this isn’t general.
For non-students, if you just need to print an email or something else small, it might be okay. For complex, large documents, you may be better off looking to print your documents elsewhere.
4. You Can Print With Certain Shipping Providers
You might not think of shipping providers as obvious places to print documents. However, services like UPS Professional Printing Services and FedEx Copying and Printing Services demonstrate how these businesses have diversified.
This means that you can use branches of these couriers to print documents when you’re out and about.
FedEx Office even lets you print documents from your Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box accounts. So, it’s always best to copy and sync your document to the cloud. That’s one advantage of using cloud productivity tools like Office Online or Google Drive.
When it comes to UPS printing prices, these can vary significantly depending on whether you’re printing in-store or using the UPS online Storefront. For cheaper document printing, always head in-store.
FedEx’s pricing is a little hard to find; however, it looks like they charge $0.14 for black-and-white. $0.55 for color.
As with office supply stores, UPS and FedEx also offer stapling, punching, binding, etc. Different paper sizes and media are also available. So, you can print business cards, pamphlets, brochures, banners, envelopes, magnets, presentations, all with zero hassle.
5. Online Document Printing Options
Everyone knows that you can print photos cheap online, but did you know that you can also print documents? This is a great alternative if you can’t find somewhere to print on the go nearby.
If you know where to look, you can get good deals on anything from black-and-white documents to full-color self-published magazines.
Best Value Copy offers black-and-white copies from $0.027 and color from $0.09, considerably beating every other option on price. However, shipping is not included in the price, which can significantly skew the value of ordering online.
For substantial orders, though, the shipping costs could be worth it, which is also true of other providers.
Uprinting.com is reputed to have good prices, but you’ll need to be ordering at least 100 copies to really benefit.
If you have time to spend looking for a way to print documents online, you’ll no doubt find a bargain. However, you may need to go through the ordering process several times before committing.
One quick tip: when you’re searching online, search for “copies” or “copying” instead of “printing.” The latter will often send you to sites that only do brochures, business cards, posters, and other more complicated projects.
Other Document-Printing Options?
If you ever need to print something on the go, these options will help you find nearby places to print. Some other printing options to consider include,
- Printing documents or photos at Walgreens
- Printing photos at a Walmart Photo Centre (Walmart does not offer document printing)
- Printing images at Shoppers Drug Mart (Shoppers Drug Mart doesn’t offer document printing online)
- Printing documents at USPS
If all of this sounds like a bit of a hassle, and you find yourself needing to print documents regularly, then you may want to consider buying a printer for home use. Whereas printers used to be extremely pricey and bulky, they’re now much more affordable and compact.