How to print from your iPad Three way

AirPrint is the easiest way to print from an iPad, but there are other options

If you're one of the many people who use their iPad for work, you'll likely wind up wanting to print something out. Fortunately, the current iPad printing situation is a lot better than it used to be. An Apple-designed solution, AirPrint, works if you have the right printer -- but even if you don't, we've got a couple of workarounds.

The easiest way to print from any iOS device, including an iPad, is to use a printer that supports AirPrint.

 AirPrint is a technology that printer makers can integrate into their devices, so you don't need to install additional drivers to make your iPad "talk" to the printer.

Today, most printers come AirPrint-ready. To check if you have an AirPrint printer, or to find one to buy, check out Apple's list here. To print a document, web page, email or anything else from your iPad, do this:
Connect your iPad and your printer to the same Wi-Fi network
Find the document, web page or email you want to print.
Click the share button (usually at the top or bottom of the screen) and select "Print."
The printer name will appear. If you have more than one AirPrint printer on your network, select the desired one from the list that appears.

AirPrint alternatives

There are several software and cloud-based solutions if you don't have an AirPrint printer on your network. Printopia is one popular alternative. Install the software to your MacOS computer and it allows you to print over Wi-Fi by using your Mac as a middleman, routing the file from the iPad to the printer. The nice thing is that there's no software needed for the iPad, just install the MacOS software and select your printer to share during the setup process.
Printopia will use your Mac as communication between the iPad and a printer.

Additionally, you can enable two virtual printers: one that saves a file to your Mac and one that saves a file to your Dropbox folder. The virtual file can be either a JPEG or PDF. This is great for saving web receipts that you don't really need to print.

Printopia is compatible with Intel and even PowerPC Macs running OS X 10.5, so you don't need to upgrade to 10.6.5 for it to work. It'll cost you $10, but you can download a demo for free. A slightly cheaper option is Fingerprint ($8), but it doesn't provide virtual printing support.