Obviously to print a document, you need paper to print it on! However, many users don’t think much beyond making sure the paper tray is full. What paper you use can have a significant impact on your final document, as well as your bottom line.
Types of Paper
Paper weight is typically measured by its weight per 500 sheets, called stock. There are a variety of types of paper, which can come in a number of weights. Choosing the right paper and weight for your project (and printer) produces a high quality document. However, choosing the wrong paper can result in poor quality, paper jams, and wasted time, money, and effort. Here are some common types of paper available:
- Bond paper – standard copy paper
- Text paper – heavier than bond paper, often used for letterhead and stationary
- Cover paper – also known as card stock, heavy and stiff paper
- Bristol paper – extremely heavy thick paper, used for book covers and wedding invitations
- Index paper – stiff and inexpensive, used for index cards and post cards
- Tag paper – durable, used for signs
Each type of paper comes in a variety of weights, giving you a wide range of options for your print job.
Choosing the Right Paper
When it comes time to print, you need to decide what type of paper is right for the job. Several factors come into play, including expense, availability, and the final desired outcome. Choosing the right paper will give you the best results.
Another factor in choosing your paper is printer compatibility. Not every printer is set up to handle every type of paper. Consult your owner’s manual to understand the types and weights of paper your printer is equipped to handle. If you use paper that is too heavy or too light, you can wind up with paper jams and other printer problems.
Once you’ve chosen the paper, don’t forget to change your print settings for your print job. This lets your printer know what type of paper it needs to use, and how to adjust settings. Forgetting this step can lead to disappointing results.
Choosing the correct paper type and weight is an important component to getting your document printed the right way the first time.