Printer Paper Terminology & What It Means

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Printer Paper Terminology

All paper is not created equal. There are so many different features — like weight and brightness — that make a sheet unique. But how do you know which type is right for you?

Brightness refers to paper’s reflectiveness. It is determined based on a point brightness scale (often measured on a 0 to 100), the higher the number, the better clarity and contrast your document will show. Paper with a rating of “84” is considered standard brightness. How does this affect your print-outs? Brighter paper yields brighter, crisp text and images.

Paper weight for everyday copier and printer jobs should be standard, which is a light weight. But if you’re printing posters, presentation material or other important documents, consider a heavier option. Heavier paper is more durable and easier to fold.

Stock refers to paper that’s thicker than your everyday printer variety. Think of it as very thin card board. Card stock comes in thin options and thicker options. This type of paper is commonly used for printing brochures, business cards and invitations.

Laser paper is for your laser printer. Why shouldn’t you use it in an inkjet printer? The inkjet ink will not properly adhere to the paper, compromising the quality of images and text.

Inkjet paper, no surprise, goes with your inkjet printer. If you use this paper in a laser printer, the paper’s coating can damage your machine. Because of this, it’s important to buy the correct paper for your printer.

Recycled and non-recycled. Of course, the main difference here is that recycled paper has been re-purposed from existing material. In terms of quality, today’s recycled options stack up to the regular stuff and can be used in almost all standard office equipment.

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