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Does The Type Of Paper You Use Matter?

close up of a hand thumbing through paper on the output tray of a printer

What is the difference between copier paper and printer paper?

Copier paper is what you would use at your place of employment to mass-produce originals that you may need to distribute or file. Copier paper is usually very thin and lucid. The quality of the paper is determined by how bright it is, or to put it another way, how much light passes through it. For mass production of work documents to be filed or distributed, quality is not that important. You can use recycled copier paper, which is approximately eight to ten percent of the total paper used today.

What are the two main types of printer paper?

There are primarily two types of computer printer paper, matte or glossy. The matte paper has a “very bright” outside layer. Glossy paper, on the other hand, has a shiny finish. So what type of paper should you use for your inkjet or laser printers? If you are printing draft copies, quality will not matter too much, so plain copier paper is good enough. However, if you are printing a final draft or color presentations, etc., a thicker coated paper, matte paper, is recommended because it allows for sharper colors and a better resolution image. For photos, a glossy finish is desirable, or in some cases necessary. Why? Because the ink dries faster on a glossy surface which, in turn, produces sharper images. A 4x6 size is the most popular for printing photos from your computer printer.

What characteristics of the different forms of copier or printer paper should I consider?

In addition to the types of paper, it is important to know its characteristics.

Paper Weight

The first one is weight. The higher the paper weight, the thicker the sheet of paper. Higher paper weight is also stronger and has a substantial feel to it. In addition, less light will pass through it. Heavier paper should be used for presentations and final drafts, whereas standard weighted paper is used for everyday printing and copying.

Paper Brightness

The second characteristic is brightness. Most paper will have a brightness rating between 80 and 100, where 100 is the brightest. The brighter the paper, the better your printed result will be. The third is texture. The type of paper texture you use for laser printers will be different from that of an inkjet printer by nature of how the ink is distributed to the paper. A laser needs a flat paper for sharp results. Inkjet printers will require the use of a rougher surface. This will produce a clear result, as it will not scatter on the surface of the paper, but rather cling to it for a sharper image.

Rag Content

A third characteristic is what is referred to as the "rag" content of the paper. The rag content is the amount of scrap cloth used with pulp fibers to create the paper. Cheaper forms of paper can have a high rag content, resulting in excess paper fibers being trapped in a copier or printer device. While most forms of copier paper will have a permissible rag content, an exceptionally high rag content of budget papers can lead to device malfunction. 

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