Breaking Down the Basics of Paper

In today’s society, a large part of businesses are operating in a digital format. However, we have not moved to a completely digital age at this point in time and it may be quite some time before this happens. This brings us to the topic of how to choose the right printer paper for your MFP. There are so many different brands, types, and qualities. Here is a breakdown of the basics to printer paper.

Paper Brightness

When we talk about brightness, we are referring to how white the paper actually is. Paper with a low brightness means that there is less contrast between the paper and your ink/toner in printing. Paper brightness is rated on a scale from 1 to 100. Depending on how bright you desire your whites to be or how crisp you want your blacks to be, look for the number on the package outlining the paper brightness. The higher the paper brightness the better quality your printing will be.


Opacity describes the amount of light that passes through the paper. Most paper has a bit of transparency (when holding it up to light, you can see light through it) and cheap paper tends to have a low opacity. This means that your printing will more likely bleed through the paper. Unlike paper brightness, there is no official opacity scale, but most are rated low, medium or high. If you are planning on printing double-sided copies, make sure you look for a higher opacity paper.

Weight of the Paper

When your purchasing paper you typically do not consider how much the paper actually weighs. Well, if you want a higher quality printing job you should be looking for a high weighted paper. Weight determines the thickness and the physical weight of the paper. Thicker paper typically tends to denote quality and lighter paper tends to possess higher transparency. How is paper weight rated? Good question. Paper weight is rated in pounds and typically refers to the weight of 500 sheets of paper.


Also known as surface, this refers to the actual feel and look of the paper. The smoothness of paper is determined by various manufacturing details. These details include recycled material content, coating, etc. If a paper is smooth it is typically used with inkjet and laser printers while a more textured paper is more often used for handwritten notes.

With the various styles of printer paper that are on the market, it can become overwhelming choosing the correct one. If you are uncertain in which of paper to choose, stop by Brock Office Automation. We’ll make sure that you get the right paper to complete the job.


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