How To: Print Emails & Attachments from your iPad – Google Cloud Print

Recently I purchased a new printer, an all-in-one device, with the added bonus of it being able to be connected via wifi, the black plastic lump even has its own email address and its own apps! I was looking in the user settings of Chrome when spotted this purely by accident and realised it was super neat.

Google Cloud Print Overview

Google have introduced a service called ‘Google Cloud Print‘, which is quite similar to Apple’s AirPrint enabling you to print wirelessly from any device, including an iPad.

However unlike AirPlay, this service is triggered remotely Googles web apps, like Gmail, which means you can print from any network. Super handy for me if I’m out grabbing a coffee, by the time I get home, I can have the latest brief printed off and waiting for my arrival.

Setting up Google Cloud Print

This is child’s play, even I could do it :X Open Google Chrome and navigate to the spanner icon and then select ‘Options’. Scroll to the bottom and hit the sign-in button next to ‘Google Cloud Print’, as shown below:

Google Cloud Print Options

Next, sign in with your Google account information and you’ll see a ‘Success!’ page, you cannot miss it, it has a big green tick on it, like below:

Google Cloud Print SuccessHitting the “Print a Test Page” button is advisable to ensure this actually works and that one has remembered to turn the printer on, give it juice and ensure it has a tree to print.

If you then hit the ‘Manage Print Settings” you can alter which printers you would like available to print with and delete any that are not required.

Google Cloud Print Printers

Time to test!

Now this is the neat bit, grab you iPad, iPhone etc and open up Gmail, from the drop down menu go to print and you should see a menu similar to this:

Google Cloud Print on the iPadSelect a printer and hit print in the bottom right corner and you’ll be notified that the print job has been added to the queue.

Google Cloud Printing - QueueSummary

I tried the email address thing for the printer and wasn’t impressed, I got a load of extra junk printed along with it. This way I you get what you print and enables me to print outside of my office network.

Google Cloud Print also supports printing more than just emails, you can print Word and PDF files too. So if I ever say “The documents are on the Printer” it doesn’t matter where I am, they really are on the printer!

Part 1: Comma Separated Keyword/Tag Blocks in Your eBay Listings?

eSellerPro LogoClearing out my old files earlier and I came across some old keywords I used on numerous occasions. Instead of  just detailing one, I’m actually going to join a few together here to make a example anyone using eSellerpro could use with a little thought.

Lets Make a Real-Life Example

Lets assume that you have two customfields the first with ‘Other Colours’ and another with ‘Sizes’, both in the custom fields group called ‘Variations’. These are two very common fields for anyone who deals with variation products, they could of course be ‘Languages’ for say DVD’s or ‘Years’ for of applicable models and so on…

So lets get right in and cover the first keyword, which is lets get value of the first field out so we can use it:

{{CustomFields:Variations:Other Colours}}

This keyword is in the format of ‘CustomFields:GroupName:FieldName‘. CustomFields calls the Custom Fields, GroupName is vitally important because it was found that the keyword only pulls in the values of the customfields from previous customfield calls, so if the value we were looking for was in a different group, then it would not be resolved; And finally the FieldName which is the internal name of the custom field (as opposed tot he display name which can be different).

So using the keyword ‘{{CustomFields:Variations:Other Colours}}‘ we can pull out the values in the ‘Other Colours’, for the sake of this example these other colours are ‘blue,green,red’. Noticing they are separated by commas, this is extremely important, as we’ll be using the ‘comma’ to spilt them up shortly.

Wait!! Lets Error Check

Now before we go any further, we need to error check ourselves. What do I mean by this? I do not think its a good idea to show or process any further code if there are not any ‘other colours’ to be showing to the viewer, we do this using another keyword.

There is two variations of this new keyword, IF and IFNOT. Both of these allow to check to see if a condition is true (there is another for IF/ELSE and IFNOT/ELSE but thats not required for this example, plus you could just alternate the IF/IFNOT to capture the alternative if its a 1:1 check, anyway back on topic…). These keywords are in the format of:

{{IF/Value being Checked/Value to Check Against/Output if True}}
{{IFNOT/Value being Checked/Value to Check Against/Output if True}}

Looks scary right? Naa its easy, lets do a real example. Lets pretend we have an colour blue in our custom field ‘Other Colours’ and IF we find blue, lets bring in an image that is the colour blue (for the smart ones, you can see where we could go with this):

{{IF/[[CustomFields:Variations:Other Colours]]/Blue/ <img src=”some-blue-image.png” />}}

Now you’ll notice the use of [[  & ]]  and not {{ & }}, this is for a very good reason, image the custom field value contained ‘Blue/Red/Green’, this would break the earlier format of {{IF/Value being Checked/Value to Check Against/Output if True}} and a good practice is to always use the ‘square’ brackets and also do your best to avoid forward slashes ‘/’ in you data.

So if the value of the ‘Other Colours’ was ‘Blue’ then we would have had an blue image appear and if there was not, ‘nothing’ would have been output from this statement.

That brings us very nicely onto ‘nothing’, going back to previously mentioning its not a good idea to show or process code when there is no need, we need to check to make sure the ‘Other Colours’ actually has something in it, so we can continue, we do this by using this keyword set up:

{{IFNOT/[[CustomFields:Variations:Other Colours]]// do something }}

This says in plain English: IF the value of Other Colours is NOT blank (thats what the // is ) then do something.

End of Part 1

This feels a good place to stop, I’ll cover off the next stage of this little session in my next post. I hope I have at least got your creative juices flowing, I know what I’m thinking, perhaps we could have a set of colour images and those images being linked, so that customers could pick their alternative colours or sizes using a user friendly block to your eBay listings or may be a ‘year picker’. Hey the options are endless!

View part 2 here:  Using the Split Keyword to Break up Your Data

The Top 10 FireFox Plugins That Make My Day

FireFoxOh how I do ore at the FireFox browser, yea its not as fast as Google’s Chrome or as widely supported as Internet Explorer but for customisation, oh my FireFox rocks and yours can too.

So here are my top 1o plugins and extensions for the FireFox browser, yes there are thousands and you could say XYZ should be here, but hey, this is my list!

  1. FireBug
    Oh how I could not live without this extension, it literaly saves me hours per day when developing and designing. With its click and highlight feature you can in seconds work out wtf is going on between code and css. Then change the code & CSS and see the affects instantly.
  2. Colourful Tabs
    No supprise when I say it colours the different tabs, but you can set specific colours for different websites, this is super handy when you always have a set number of tabs open with all your favourite sites open.
  3. Measure It
    This is a super little extension that allows you to measure objects on screen so you can find the dimensions in seconds.
  4. Colour Zilla
    Like that shade of pink sir? Well now is yours. Click the icon in the status bar, use the eye dropper and its yours!
  5. Remove Tabs
    I was supprised this was not included by default. This plugin allows you to close the tabs to the left or the right of the selected tab.
  6. Reload Every
    I find this addon extremely useful when I am waiting an update on a site. You can pick from range of times or specify your own time for the page to reload.
  7. AdBlock Plus.
    This has been ported to Chrome too. Get rid of pretty much ALL adverts, although it can be a bit ropey on YouTube.
  8. FireFox Sync
    Back up everything using thier backup service across your fav devices.
  9. Fire Gestures
    I first found this in Google Chrome, it was the first extension I added to Chrome, so found a similar version for FireFox. It allows you to navigate using your mouse movements. Takes some getting used to, but you’ll be speeding around in a fraction of the time.
  10. Anything that Looks Cool.
    Thats right there is no 10th. However take a look at the addons directory, if you have a need (or not) then its extremely likely someone has written an addon for it.