Printer Paper

Leaf through the facts on photo and copier paper

Nine times out of ten we don't need to think too hard about the choice of paper for our printer, but there are situations where a good result is necessary. Whether you're looking for document paper or photo paper, paying attention to quality and features of the different types of printer paper can help you get the best finished product.

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Printer Paper

If you're choosing printer paper for your home printer and aren't overly concerned about presentation, cheap printer paper or copier paper is probably fine. Most common papers are created equally, but there are some differences in weight. The better-quality everyday papers are typically between 70 and 100 grams, which is fine for normal print jobs. Anything lower than that, however, and you might find streaking or jamming to be an issue. Most printer papers will work in both laser printers and inkjet printers.

Professional Printer Paper

If you're looking for presentation printing paper, your choices are a little more challenging. You'll need to look at the weight of the paper, noting that it should be double that of everyday printer paper. You can also look for additional features, such as waterproofing, smudge-proofing, high-density color, high gloss and non-tear.

You can also choose your professional paper based on the type of project you're doing – choices include brochure paper, certificate paper, poster paper, cardstock and much more.

Photo Paper

Nowadays, many printers are equipped to print documents and photos. While paper choice may not matter a lot when you're printing off a recipe or an e-mail, it can make a difference when you're printing photos. To make sure you're satisfied with your printed photos, it pays to learn a little more about the different types of photo paper available.

Photo paper comes in different quality levels and with different features, including fade resistance, extra vibrancy, smudge-resistance and more. It also comes in different weights and thicknesses, ranging from a slightly thicker paper that's good for everyday photos to high-quality, heavy-weight paper that mimics traditional photos.

Photo paper also comes in different finishes, including:

  • Glossy photo paper. Glossy photo paper is typically reserved for premium photo paper, as it has the most shine and gives the truest reproduction for photos from files or your camera card.
  • Semi-gloss photo paper. Semi-gloss paper is good for printing photos from e-mails or other photos that are not direct files.
  • Matte photo paper. Matte photo paper is much duller than the two other types, but is the best choice for black and white photos or for reproducing older photos that have been scanned.

When it comes to choosing a brand of photo paper, sometimes it's best to go with the big names. You can go with the brand name of your camera, such as Kodak and Canon photo paper, or with the brand of your printer, such as Epson or HP photo paper. These brands may cost a few dollars more than the no-name brands, but the improved quality is worth the investment.

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