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Choosing the Right Printer Paper

When most people go shopping for printer paper, they go to the store and pick a ream of whatever is on sale and pop it in the printer. This is certainly understandable - but it is not the most efficient way to get the best quality for your prints. Depending on the type of printer you have, and the model, your paper needs will be different. Here are some tips for choosing the right printer paper, as well as why it matters.

The first question you need to answer is what type of project you are going to be completing. For instance, are you sending resumes to companies? Are you printing reports for clients? Are your children printing reports for school? If you have a project that needs to look professional, it is worth it to buy a better quality paper. The cheapest, generic papers may have a great price, but they are also far more absorbent than higher quality papers. Why does this matter?

For a few reasons: cheaper paper absorbs ink more readily, which has two negative effects. The lines and text can become blurry, and you end up using more ink on these pages. And because you may have to reprint pages because they're blurry, you end up using yet more ink. The initial savings you saw with the less expensive paper evaporates as you have to pay more for ink cartridges.

Next, know what type of printer you have. Laser jet printers use toner cartridges, and inkjets use ink cartridges. These are two completely different methods of printing, so for optimal results, you need different paper for each. Laser printers burn your text or image into the paper with lasers, while inkjets spray drops of ink, which adheres to the paper. Using paper designed for inkjets with a laser printer may produce smudgy results, and vice versa. Again, because you don't want the hassle and expense of reprinting, selecting the right type of paper for your printer is important.

Besides quality and type, you may also want to consider using a recycled or more eco-friendly paper. Xerox, for instance, created paper that uses less than half as many trees to produce as regular paper does. In addition, there are papers available that are tree free. Rock paper is another innovation that is saving trees. It is made from recycled limestone and calcium carbonate. You can choose from regular and legal sized paper, cards, brochure paper, and any other product you may need. Many people think recycled paper will be brown or look like parchment. In fact, it can be as snowy white as traditional paper.

It is worth taking a little time to find the right paper for your printer. It affects not only your budget, but also the quality of your products. When quality matters, and when you don't want to spend unnecessary money on ink cartridges, taking the time will end up saving you both time and money. Consult your printer manual for paper recommendations, and consider going green with your printing.

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