Tech gurus and prophets have long predicted the death of the printed page. They think everything will be done online, or everyone will have a “paperless office”, or everything will be managed in the cloud.
It is undeniable that there are fewer printers than before. The rise of networks and ubiquitous Internet access has reduced the need for printed materials, or at least reduced the need for people to have their own printer. Not to mention that printers are quite archaic technology and those who use them frequently encounter many difficulties that have yet to be updated.
Many processes and procedures still rely on information printed on physical papers, but what has changed is that many people no longer have inkjet or laser printers. People tend to use tablets and smartphones now and don't have a desktop computer at home or work with a standalone printer.
It's not just companies that have abandoned the use of paper documents. Colleges and universities, high schools, and even colleges around the world have shifted to digital learning, using laptops and tablets in the classroom to replace printed materials and handouts. Handing in papers and other assignments becomes an electronic process through sources like email, web apps, and class-wide drop boxes.
Regardless of the "paperless" trend, you may still need a printer. Here are some great sources to use so you can get your proof or verification documents, forms, and information on paper, and deliver them when needed.
Where can I go to print a document?
Luckily, you don't need to stress. There are printers everywhere, and finding one you can use is often as easy as doing a quick Google search. There are several print-on-demand options that you can access just about anywhere you go.
Use the library
Libraries aren't just for books! Libraries are open to the public and are the perfect resource for anyone looking for an easy way to print materials. While most people think of libraries as simply places to rent books and possibly DVDs based on your local selection, the truth is much more complicated. Libraries offer all kinds of services, depending on where you live, and one of those services is usually printing and computer access. If it's not free, it's often cheap.
If you're not sure if your local library offers printing services, use this Google search to find your nearest library, then visit their webpage. Look for a subsection or category for services or computer access. Typically, libraries provide some sort of computer access for those of us who cannot print or use computers at home. Most libraries offer free use of PCs, and some don't even need a library card to use them.
Access to printing may or may not be free, but costs are low per page. Expenses can add up quickly when printing a bunch of documents, but for five-page black-and-white paper, you'll probably pay less than a dollar. Check with the library if you need to use one of their computers or if they support wireless printing from your phone or laptop.
Library website example:
Many libraries also offer scanning and faxing services for a nominal fee. Some libraries even have 3D printers available for rent. However, these printers are usually part of "maker" programs and require you to take classes and show off your mastery of the technology before giving you access to their expensive machines.
If you're a college or university student, check your campus library for printouts whenever you need an essay. Typically, your tuition comes with a printing quota that you can use to print materials on campus. College campuses don't have restrictions on what you can print, so whether you're printing out a paper for school or a shipping label to return that shirt you bought on Amazon that doesn't quite fit , you will be good to go . If you are not a student at the school, you can still use library resources for a small fee.
Copy and print shops
Although it is a dying breed, there are still dedicated stores that are only meant to provide copying and printing services, in addition to offering supplies related to paper and other documents . They are usually "mom-and-pop" stores, locally owned in cities large and small, and sometimes in suburbs across the United States.
You'll want to google search for nearby copy and print stores, although this may also bring up some of the other stores on our list. Copy and print shops offer the advantage of catering precisely to the needs of people who need printed matter, and the disadvantage of high prices for their services.
Apartments and Hotels
Hotels and apartment complexes often have business service centers that offer copying, printing, scanning, and faxing services to their residents or guests. Ordinarily, these services are reserved for the people who live there.
However, staff (in hotels especially) are often perfectly happy to let someone in off the street with a quick print job, in response to a polite request. If you live in an apartment complex, even if your complex does not have a self-contained business center, the rental office staff may be willing to print the occasional document for a resident. It never hurts to ask!
Have you ever dropped off a package at The UPS Store or at a FedEx store? You might be surprised, but these companies aren't just dedicated to getting your Amazon returns and the holiday gifts you send home. They also provide office services that may appeal to anyone trying to print a document before heading to work or school. Shipping stores almost always have a print center.
Printing in the UPS store
The UPS Store, for example, has more than 5 locations in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada, and most of them offer copy and print services. According to their website, The UPS Store offers copying, black and white or color printing, single or double-sided printing, multiple page sizes, and even lamination and binding for those who need a good report. or a test. UPS also allows you to upload your documents online and offers you a printing quote based on your document.
Once your file has been submitted, you will be given a deadline (for basic documents, it seems quite short), and you can pick it up in store when you are ready. In our tests, the prices were quite competitive, giving us a color print for around 40 cents per page and a black and white document for 15 cents per page.
Call your local UPS store for their current prices. There are many supported document file types for printing through UPS, including PDF, .doc, .jpeg, and even Photoshop and Illustrator documents. Our article on printing without a printer discusses the benefit of converting documents to PDF, and how to do it.
Printing at FedEx
FedEx offers services with its FedEx Office stores, formerly known as Kinko's, which compete directly with The UPS Store. There are fewer FedEx locations around the world, with the FedEx website indicating that there are over 2 locations in the United States and overseas. Still, if you live near a FedEx office, they offer similar print and copy services to their nearby competitors, which makes sense given Kinko's heritage. Documents can be picked up or shipped to your location, although shipping a document increases costs.
Uploading documents to FedEx is simple, with support for multiple file types and even the ability to upload directly from a cloud-based document service like Google Drive or Dropbox. If there's one downside to using their service, it's the price. Our test document was quite small, containing a one-page black and white document, but it cost nearly 70 cents, a considerable increase from the 15 cents UPS was going to charge us. This may vary depending on your location. Call your local FedEx Office store for pricing information. Still, it's not too expensive, depending on the number of pages. If there is a FedEx near you but not a UPS, the decision is made for you anyway.
These are both great stores, but you'll still want to look around to see if you can find a local shipping company that can also offer printing and copying services.
Can I print to Office Depot and OfficeMax?
Like UPS and FedEx printing opportunities, most major office supply stores offer printing services that may be just right for you. Although stores like Office Depot, OfficeMax (which is owned by Office Depot), and Staples exist to sell paper, printers, and other similar printing media, they have all sorts of printing options available to you. Office Depot, for example, offers same-day print pickup for most basic documents, as long as you place an order by 14:00 p.m. local time on business days. Since they also offer mobile downloading through their iOS and Android apps, you don't need to be on your computer to download a document.
Prices through Office Depot and OfficeMax are pretty cheap. A black and white double-sided page gave us an estimated price of just 9 cents, beating even the library in our area. Even color pages cost only 42 cents each when double-sided. It's fairly easy to find an OfficeMax or Office Depot location near you, but you can also choose to have the product shipped to you for an additional cost. And while we're focusing on document printing for this article, you can print many types of projects using Office Depot's printing software available online.
Printing at Staples
Staples, like Office Depot and OfficeMax, offers online document downloading for easy pickup or mailing, offered at about 10 cents a page for black-and-white prints and about 50 cents a page for color prints. Call for pricing. Staples print services keep pace with similar library costs and direct competition like Office Depot.
The Staples desktop web app for document uploading is pretty easy to use and you can pick up your printouts within hours of submitting them.
Online printing houses
If you're in no rush to get your prints back, online print shops can be pretty cheap. As mentioned earlier, several companies, including Office Depot and FedEx, ship your documents if you're not near a physical location. Nevertheless, it is also worth mentioning that online print shops may offer lower prices or free shipping.
There's no shortage of easy-to-use online printing companies you can find through Google. The one thing to note, however, is that most online print shops are designed for large projects that can't be handled by office supply stores or your local library.
If you need 500 copies of a specific document, purchasing through an online print shop may be the solution. You'll end up paying real dollars, but each copy will only cost you pennies because you're buying in bulk. If you're looking to buy a single copy of something, you might want to find a different source.
Pharmacies and pharmacies
While pharmacies and pharmacies around the world offer 1-hour photo solutions, what you might not know is that these same stores can offer document printing. If you're looking for a place to print your documents quickly, you might want to check out your local pharmacy to see if they have printing solutions that meet your needs.
Can I print at CVS?