How to Print Files Saved to an Android Device with Zebra Utilities

Article ID: 92893691




Using Zebra Utilities for Android to print files saved to the Android device's SD card

Applies To

Zebra Printers Excludes: ZQ110, EM220, EM220II


Zebra Utilities application installed on your Android device as well as knowledge of your printers programming language.

CPCL Programming Manual Read More>>
ZPL Programming Manual Read More>>
EPL Programming Manual Read More>>


Zebra Utilities for Android (available on the Android Market or with the Android SDK download on  (Read More>>) offers printing functionality for files resident on the Android device.  This means, specifically, that a user can send a file stored on the Android device to print via WIFI or Bluetooth to the printer.  It is important to note that the file is being sent to the printer as pure text - there is no driver on the Android device which will actively turn the file into an image for printing.  

Example: Since mobile printers commonly accept CPCL commands, the following demonstrates how to save a CPCL label to the Android device and send it to a mobile printer.  A full manual on CPCL commands can be found here: Read More>>


1. Save the document to the Android device.

First, connect the Android device via USB to the host computer.  When prompted, make sure that 'Disk Drive' is selected as the connection type.  This will allow us to transfer files to and from the Android device's SD card.  Generally, the following menu appears at the top Android toolbar when you connect the device to a computer, and it will allow you to connect as a disk drive:

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We will take a CPCL label, in this case called sample.cpcl, and store it to the printer.  The CPCL label's contents are:

! 0 200 200 210 1
TEXT 4 0 30 40 Hello World

Notice that a carriage return follows each command, including the PRINT command.  Once connected and in 'disk drive' mode, the Android device should be listed as a memory device in 'My Computer'.  Open up 'My Computer' and explore the Android device.  Copy sample.cpcl into this directory.  Generally speaking, this directory corresponds to the Android's SD card.  For the purposes of this example, we are assuming that the files are being stored to the Android device's SD card, and not internal memory.

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After copying the files over, disconnect the Android device from the computer so that applications on the device may access the SD card to read the copied files.

2.  Load the document in Zebra Utilities and Print

Now that we have the CPCL file stored to the device's SD card, we can access it with Zebra Utilities.  Open up Zebra Utilities and hit the 'menu' button on the phone.  You should see a menu similar to this one:

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Select 'File Directory' and input '/mnt/sdcard/' as the directory.  This corresponds to the directory in which you placed sample.cpcl in step 1.

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At this point you can go back to the Zebra Utilities home screen and choose the 'File' option, which will explore basic files for printing.  If done correctly, the following should appear under the 'Other' category.  If the file is not yet there, make sure that your Android device is no longer acting as a disk drive by disconnecting it from the computer. 

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At this point, you can select the file to send it to print.

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