Understanding Different Types of Printer Paper

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When you think of printer paper, you likely think of the standard letter-size paper that you would print on in your own home.

However, many printers—particularly office printers—can handle a variety of paper types in different sizes, thicknesses, and more. But which type of paper should you be printing on in your office? Keep reading to learn more about the different types of printer paper so you can find out.

Paper Size

The first thing that you should definitely know is that there are actually three different sizes of paper. This includes the following:

  • Letter size – Letter-size paper is the most common type of paper used in home and office printers. It measures 8.5 x 11 inches and is used for documents, letters, forms, and more.
  • Legal size – Legal-size paper is also 8.5 inches wide but has three additional inches in length, bringing the final measurements for this paper to 8.5 x 14 inches. It’s used for contracts in the legal, accounting, and real estate industries.
  • Ledger size – Ledger-size paper measures 11 x 17 inches and is used for documents and diagrams that don’t fit onto smaller sheets (e.g., architectural diagrams and CAD drawings). Some people also refer to this as a “tabloid-size” paper.

Most businesses can use letter-size paper for almost all of their printing needs. However, if you work in an industry where legal- and ledger-size papers are common, make sure you purchase a printer that can handle those sizes.

Paper Weight and Thickness

Paper thickness is measured in “points,” with one point equaling one-thousandth of an inch. So, 10-point paper is 0.01 inches thick, 20-point paper is 0.02 inches thick, and so on. Paper thickness works in conjunction with weight, which refers to the actual weight of 500 sheets of paper in question. This usually means the thicker paper is also “heavier” paper. Standard copy paper is typically between 20 and 24 pounds per 500 sheets, with higher numbers referring to thicker paper types like cardstock and photo paper.

The standard weight of paper is usually sufficient for most office print jobs. However, a heavier paper may be better if you print a document with many images. This will prevent the paper from becoming oversaturated with ink and wrinkling during printing.

Choosing the Right Printer

Once you know the right paper for the print jobs you’ll have in your office, you are now able to choose a copy printer in Fairbanks, AK, that is capable of handling paper of the right size, weight, and thickness for your office’s printing needs.

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