I’m running Microsoft Windows 8 now and am baffled by the whole printing process. In fact, there are a bunch of apps that go full screen and have no menu, no options, and I have no idea how to do anything in them. If I’m viewing a PDF, how do I make a printed copy?
The loss of the Start menu has confused a lot of people who have switched to Windows 8, but in my opinion it’s pretty easy to learn how to work with the Start screen instead, and the handy tiles that actively update with news, weather, and other status information are pretty slick. The menuless interface for popular apps, known as the “Metro” interface, however, is a lot harder to adjust to because while it might work well for a tablet, it’s a pretty confusing interface for laptop or desktop systems.
As with much of Win8, you have to remember gestures and mouse motions rather than having things just sitting on the screen waiting to be clicked. With the PDF viewer, it’s very much that way, as you see the document and literally nothing else on screen.
Let’s jump in and I’ll show you how to print a PDF document from within the Win8 PDF viewer app!
First off, here’s a PDF doc sitting on my Desktop, ready to double-click (or, I suppose, tap):
When I do open it to read, the document opens with nothing else show on the screen other than a small ~ez_ldquo+ez_rdquo~ and “-” sign on the lower right corner.
Tap on the “-” and it zooms out to show you all the pages in the doc:
You can tap on ~ez_ldquo+ez_rdquo~ to zoom back in if you’d like.
To print, you need to get to the Devices menu, and to do that simply move your cursor to the top right or lower right corner of the screen. The so-called “Charms Bar” appears (and no, I didn’t come up with that name) and offers a number of icons, including the double-rectangle of “Devices”, just above the gear icon of settings:
Move the cursor over them and the labels appear to confirm which one you should click:
Choose “Devices” and, surprise, it’s a contextually sensitive menu, so if you do that from the Desktop it’ll offer you the second screen option only since there’s nothing to print if you’ve no app active. In this case, however, since we’re in the PDF viewer, it shows a list of printers:
When I click on “Samsung ML-1740 @ MiniMe” it prepares the document for printing and gives me a number of easy options from which I can choose:
That’s the ticket! Click on “Print” and your printout should show up shortly thereafter.
If you don’t have any printers configured, click on the “Settings” gear icon and choose “Change PC settings” at the bottom. From there you can find the printers control area and add a printer or two, as needed.
This approach of using the Charms Bar to get to the printer is consistent across Metro apps in Windows 8, so I’d encourage you to get used to it. And good luck!