How to Choose the Right Paper for Your Printer - dummies

How to Choose the Right Paper for Your Printer

By Andy Rathbone

Before printing anything from any Windows 8 program or app, be sure to click the Printer’s Preferences section to select the grade of paper you’re using for that job. If you’ve strolled the aisles at an office-supply store lately, you’ve noticed a bewildering array of paper choices. Sometimes the paper’s packaging lists its application: Premium Inkjet Paper, for example, for high-quality memos.


Here’s a list of different print jobs and the types of paper they require.

  • Junk: Keep some cheap or scrap paper around for testing the printer, printing quick drafts, leaving desktop notes, and printing other on-the-fly jobs. Botched print jobs work great here; just use the paper’s other side.

  • Letter quality: Bearing the words Premium or Bright White, this paper works fine for letters, reports, memos, and other things designed for showing to others.

  • Photos: You can print photos on any type of paper, but they look like photos only on actual photo-quality paper — the expensive stuff. Slide the paper carefully into your printer tray so that the picture prints on the glossy, shiny side. Some photo paper requires placing a little cardboard sheet beneath it, which helps glide the paper smoothly through the printer.

  • Labels: Avery’s Wizard program makes it easy to print Avery labels and cards. The wizard teams up with Microsoft Word to mesh perfectly with Avery’s preformatted mailing labels, greeting cards, business cards, CD labels, and many others.

  • Transparencies: For powerful PowerPoint presentations, buy special transparent plastic sheets designed to be used with your type of printer. Make sure the transparency is compatible with your printer, be it laser or inkjet.

Before plunking down your money, make sure that your paper is designed specifically for your printer type, be it laser or inkjet. Laser printers heat the pages, and some paper and transparencies can’t take the heat.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.