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How to Print from a Palm PDA


Printing from a Palm PDA may be done in several ways, for a variety of reasons. The majority of PDAs were not originally designed with built-in printing capabilities. The manufacturers assumed the PDAs would be used in connection to desktop computers, so neglected to add a print feature into most models. However, it is possible to print from some Palm PDAs with the right software and hardware.

Connection to Printer

The PDA must have some way to connect with the printer. Some Palm PDA models may be able to connect through Infrared (IR), Bluetooth, serial, or parallel connections. Printing from a Palm PDA may also be done indirectly by sending the information to a desktop computer that is connected to a printer. The PDA and printer must both have the same type of connection capabilities. Both devices must also be compatible with any hardware and software being utilized.

Serial and parallel connectivity may be a bit trickier to use than Infrared or Bluetooth. Due to both being designed as “slave” devices, a special cable with the right connectors or an adaptor may be needed to connect the PDA and printer. In addition, a null modem, or a device that reverses polarity may be needed for some serial connections.

Compatible Printers

Even with the right connectivity capabilities, a printer may not work with the Palm PDA. The printer must also be compatible with the PDA’s operating system, its software applications, and the printer driver. Only laser and inkjet printers can be used for most Palm PDAs.

Compatible Software

There are several software applications that enable Palm PDAs to print a variety of data. For example, PalmPrint and SCS Print Server have been developed specifically for Palm PDAs. SCS Print Server is a lighter version of PalmPrint. PalmPrint will permit printing from most of the standard Palm built-in applications, as well as from any other PalmPrint-enabled application. SCS Print Server does not print from all the built-in applications or PalmPrint-enabled applications.

When choosing any type of software applications for the Palm PDA, its printing capabilities should be taken into consideration. Not every application permits printing without first opening a specific printing program. Some do not work with every printer. In some instances, you cannot print directly from a PDA, and must upload your information to a desktop computer before it can be printed.

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