Being out of your house and in need of a printer can be a stressful experience. Just where do you go when you need to print documents? Perhaps you need a copy of your lease, a crisp resume, or a character sheet for your favorite tabletop RPG.
“Places to print near me” is a common Google search. But you have several more options for printing away from home—if you know where to look.
Thanks to mobile and cloud technologies, the best “out of house” printing solutions are just a click away. Here are five ways you can 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]”. It’s as easy as that!
2. Print in an Office Supply Store
You might not need to buy office supplies at these stories 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 color is $0.59 (Staples advertises $0.17 and $0.60). 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 afford 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?
While it’s hard to estimate prices, typical prices are $0.10 for black-and-white pages and $0.50 for color pages.
Many public libraries also offer cloud printing services. Sometimes, as with this image of Stratford public library, they’re integrated with Google Cloud Print. 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 a general rule.
For non-students, if you just need to print an email or something else small, it might be okay. For complex, large documents, look elsewhere.
4. You Can Print With 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.
So, you can use branches of these couriers to print documents when you’re out and about. UPS even lets you print from the HP ePrint app so you can get prints super-fast on the go.
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.
The UPS Store offers prices that beat Office Depot, at $0.09 per black-and-white page, and $0.49 per color page. Just upload your documents online or bring them into the store and you’re set to print whatever you need.
FedEx’s pricing is a little hard to find; however, it looks like they charge $0.13 for black-and-white. $0.70 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 to 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 very large orders, though, the shipping costs could be worth it, something that 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. It’s a great option if you don’t own your own printer. To quickly recap, places you can print documents while you’re out are:
- Office supply stores
- Shipping service providers
- Copy and print shops
- Public and university libraries
- Order from an online printing service
Don’t have your own printer yet but thinking about buying? Take the time to read our list of things to check when buying a new printer.
Explore more about: Printing.