Chromebook For Dummies Cheat Sheet
The Chromebook is designed to rely heavily on the Internet for most of its functionality: Instead of a hard drive, Chromebook relies on cloud-based storage. And instead of resident applications, Chromebook uses web-based applications that are accessed and bookmarked through the Google Play store. Because so many functions are offset, some Chromebook settings — such as cloud printing, email vacation responders, and function keys — can be a little challenging to set up. This Cheat Sheet helps you sort it out.
Cloud Printing on Your Chromebook
Part of what makes Chromebook’s operating system, Chrome OS, so fast is that it supports a limited number of hardware devices on the market, including printers. But that doesn’t mean that Chromebook’s users are limited. Thankfully, Google has rolled out a way to print over the web — cloud printing.
Cloud printing allows you to connect a printer to the Internet and access it using your Google account. There are several printers on the market that are cloud-printing–enabled, but in the event your printer isn’t, don’t fret. You can still set it up for printing.
To set up cloud printing with a classic printer (that is, one that isn’t cloud-printing–enabled), you will need a computer — one that isn’t a Chromebook— and an Internet connection. Then follow these steps:
Plug your printer into your non-Chromebook computer and power it on.
Open a Chrome browser window on that computer.
When Chrome has loaded, click the settings button in the top right corner of the window.
A menu will appear revealing several options.
From the menu, choose Settings.
Your Chrome settings will load into the Chrome browser in a manner similar to your Chromebook.
Be sure you’re logged into Chrome with the same Google account that you use to access your Chromebook. If you aren’t, click the Disconnect your Google Account button and then login again with the correct credentials before proceeding!
Click Show Advanced Settings.
In the Google Cloud Print section of these settings, click Manage.
A list of devices appears. These are the devices on your network that you can register with Google Cloud Print.
In the Classic Printers section of this list, click Add Printers.
A screen appears, giving you the option to add every printer installed on your device.
Uncheck every printer except for the printer you just connected to your non-Chromebook. Then click Add Printer.
A confirmation page appears, indicating your cloud-print setup was successful.
You can now use this printer to print “from the cloud.” Remember, however, that whenever you want to print, the computer to which your classic printer is connected must be on and connected to the Internet.
Setting a Vacation Responder on Your Chromebook
Whether you’re on vacation or just away from your desk, Chromebook allows you to create an auto responder that sends an automated response, written by you, to every email you receive. The automated response is usually just a note saying that you’re out right now, but that you’ll get in touch when you get back. Then, when you return to your desk, you can then get to the business of replying more formally to the emails you received while you were away.
To set up your vacation responder, follow these steps:
Click the Settings widget in the top-right corner of the window.
In the Settings menu, click Settings.
The Settings editor appears in the main email area.
Scroll to the bottom of these settings to the Vacation Responder section and click the Vacation Responder On checkbox.
Enter the date of the first day you want your responder to begin working.
If you know the date of the last day you want your vacation responder to be working, enter it. Otherwise skip it.
If you do not set a last day for your vacation responder, you must turn your vacation responder off manually. Otherwise Gmail will continue to automatically send replies to each email you receive.
Enter the subject and body for your vacation responder email.
Click Save Changes.
Now anyone who sends you an email while you’re away will receive your auto response.
Turning Chromebook’s Shortcut Keys into Function Keys
Most Chromebook keyboards look a little different: If you’re used to working on a Windows or Apple computer, you’re probably familiar with the F-keys — from F1 through F12 — that appear at the top of your computer’s keyboard. On most Chromebooks, however, these F-keys aren’t included. They’ve been replaced by shortcut keys.
If you have a need for F-keys, don’t fret, you can convert your Chromebook’s shortcut keys into F-keys by following these steps:
Click the Settings panel in the bottom right corner of your Chromebook screen.
In the resulting Settings menu, choose Settings.
This loads your Chromebook settings into a Chrome browser window.
Scroll down to the Device section and click Keyboard Settings.
This loads the Keyboard Settings overlay.
Check the Treat Top-Row Keys as Function Keys checkbox.
This disables the shortcut functionality of your Chromebook’s shortcut keys and enables their function as F-keys.