Paper for Your CS5 Documents - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Before printing your Creative Suite 5 documents, consider the type of paper that’s best for the job. If you’re printing on glossy paper, make sure that the paper works with your printer type. Although most glossy paper works fine in inkjet or laser printers, some brands or types of paper may not.

Always double-check paper when purchasing it to make sure that it won’t damage your printer. The kinds of printers supported by the type of paper are listed on the paper’s packaging.

One benefit to using glossy paper is that it has a finish similar to photo paper finish, which can make your printouts appear to have a higher quality.

Using good paper can result in photos that have richer colors and show more detail. When purchasing printer paper, here are some important characteristics to look for:

  • Brightness: Refers to how bright the paper is. Higher numbers mean the paper looks brighter and cleaner.

  • Weight: Refers to how heavy the paper is. Higher weights mean a thicker, more durable piece of paper.

  • Opacity: Refers to how translucent, or transparent, the paper is. If the paper is too thin, too much light can pass through it; also, you may be able to see the ink through the other side of the page (which can be a problem if you want to print on both sides of the sheet).

    Opacity relates to weight, in that a heavier sheet of paper would be thicker and allow less light to pass through it.

  • Texture: Refers to the smoothness or roughness of the surface of the paper. Texture can provide dramatic differences between inkjet and laser printers. Inkjet printers spray ink onto a page, so having a slightly textured surface to print on can be beneficial because the texture allows ink to dry somewhat faster and bleed a little less, making the finished product look a little sharper.

    When you’re using a laser printer, the opposite is true. Having a smooth, flat surface for the toner to transfer onto produces better results.

Remember that you may not always print on 8-1/2-x-11-inch paper (also referred to as Letter or A4). Many printers also allow you to print on envelopes, labels, stickers, business cards, and even iron-on transfers. You can use iron-on transfers to create your own T-shirts with your company logo or shirts with your face on the front.

Some newer printers even allow you to print directly onto the surface of a CD-ROM. You can even purchase small printers designed solely to print standard-size photographs.

Another important note is the difference in paper sizes globally. Whereas the United States and Canada use inches to measure paper, the rest of the globe uses a metric system based on an ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standard.

The North American Letter format may be replaced by the ISO A4 format. The other differences between the U.S. and Canadian systems from the ISO is that the ISO paper sizes always follow a set ratio, whereas the U.S. and Canadian systems uses two different aspect ratios.