How to Print from a Windows 8 Start Screen App - dummies

How to Print from a Windows 8 Start Screen App

By Andy Rathbone

Many of the apps in the Windows 8 Start screen can’t print at all, and those that do allow printing don’t offer many ways to tinker with your printer’s settings. So what’s the deal here? The new, tile-filled Start screen in Windows 8 behaves much differently than the traditional Windows desktop. Designed mostly for portable, touchscreen gadgets, the Start screen and its gang of apps work best for gathering informational tidbits while you’re on the go.

Nevertheless, when you must print something from a Start screen’s app, follow these steps:

  1. From the Start screen, load the app containing information you want to print.

    Not every app can print, unfortunately, and the apps don’t disclose their limitations upfront. You might follow these steps only to find your hopes dashed by an obstinate app.

  2. Open the Charms bar and click the Devices icon.

    Summon the Charms bar’s Devices icon by using the spellcasting tools at your disposal:

    • Mouse: Point at the screen’s top- or bottom-right corners; when the Charms bar appears, click Devices.

    • Keyboard: Press Windows+K to jump straight to Devices.

    • Touchscreen: Slide your finger inward from the screen’s right edge; when the Charms bar appears, tap the Devices icon.

    Windows 8 lists all the devices capable of working with your app, including, hopefully, any connected printers.

  3. Click the printer to receive your work.

    Click your printer icon. If you spot several printer icons, choose the one that should handle the job. (The icons are labeled.)

    Don’t see a printer listed? Then that particular app won’t let you print. (Until you try the next tip, that is.)

    If you have a keyboard, press Windows+PrtScrn to save an image of the current screen as a file called Screenshot.png in your Pictures library. To print your screenshot, visit your desktop’s Pictures library, right-click that file, and choose Print.

  4. Make any final adjustments.

    The Printer window, offers a preview of what you’re printing, with the total number of pages listed beneath. Hover your mouse pointer over the preview page and click the little arrows to flip through the preview, page by page.


    On a touchscreen, flip through the pages by sliding your finger across the preview image.

    Not enough options? Then click the More Settings link. The Pages per Sheet setting lets you shrink several pages onto a single sheet of paper, which is handy for printing small photos on a color printer.

  5. Click the Print button.

    Windows 8 shuffles your work to the printer of your choice, using the settings you chose in Step 4.

Although you can print from apps, you’ll eventually run against its limitations:

  • Many apps can’t print. You can’t print a day’s itinerary from your Calendar app, for example, or even a monthly calendar.

  • When printing web pages with these steps, you’re stuck printing the entire page; on some sites, that can mean printing a dozen pages to grab the single page you want.

  • The More Settings link, described earlier in Step 4, lets you choose between Portrait and Landscape mode, as well as choose a printer tray. However, you won’t find more detailed adjustments, such as choosing margins or adding headers and footers.

In short, although you can print from apps, your results will rarely match the experience of printing from the traditional Windows desktop.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.