How to Use Carbonless Paper For Laser Printers?

How to Use Carbonless Paper For Laser Printers?

If you haven’t heard of carbonless paper, it’s an ideal tool for creating professional multipart forms. Since its introduction in 1953, it’s been enhancing the way businesses produce copies of important business documents. It also improves record-keeping, whether you run a doctor’s office, educational institution, parcel delivery company, etc. 

The benefits of carbonless copy paper are that it’s efficient, cost-effective, and versatile. Best of all, you can use carbonless laser paper with digital copiers and laser printers. How does the carbon paper printing process work? Let’s break it down. 

How Carbonless Paper Works

Carbonless paper works through a unique chemical process. Carbonless pages are coated with special chemicals on either side. The back side contains tiny dye capsules (microcapsules), while the front side is treated with a layer of chemical clay. 

When you apply pressure to a stack of carbonless paper pages, these chemical capsules break open. This then causes the chemicals to interact with each other, creating a permanent mark. The resulting image is a carbon copy of the original document.

Carbonless Paper for Laser Printers

Carbonless paper forms can be handwritten or printed with a laser printer. However, these two modes of printing require different types of carbonless paper:

  • Traditional Carbonless Paper: This form of carbonless paper is not intended for printer use. While it can successfully go through your printer, its chemical coating will harm your printer’s components, such as its rollers and drums. 
  • Carbonless Laser Paper: Carbonless laser paper is specially-manufactured to work with laser printers. It’s treated with an additional chemical, making it heat-resistant and laser printer compatible. In turn, it won’t cause damage to your printer.

How Does Carbonless Laser Paper Work?

To start carbonless laser printing, simply follow these steps:

1. Investigate How Paper Travels Through Your Printer

Since carbonless paper has a special chemical coating, it must be fed through your printer in the proper sequence. Otherwise, the chemical coatings won’t line up correctly and your carbonless forms won’t work.

To get this step right, you need to do a little investigation. Some printers flip paper internally, while others feed the pages straight through. To determine which category your printer falls into, conduct this simple test: 

  1. Draw a marking on one side of a piece of paper.
  2. Place the paper in the tray, with the marking faced upwards.
  3. Create a single-page document on your computer that says “test.”
  4. Print this one-sided document.
  5. Check whether the hand-drawn marking comes out of the printer face-up or face-down.
  6. Make sure your hand-drawn marking and the printed “test” text come out on the same side of the paper. 
  7. If they come out on opposite sides, repeat these steps by placing your hand-drawn marking face-down in the tray instead. 

Once you’ve conducted this test, you’ll have all the required information to determine whether you need straight or reverse collated multipart form carbonless paper. 

2. Choose Either Straight Collation or Reverse Collation 

Collation is the arrangement of sheets within a paper stack. Straight collation means pages are in order, whereas reverse collation means pages are in reverse order. Depending on your printer, you’ll need to purchase one collation over the other. 

Collation is critical for three-part or four-part forms. However, for two-part forms, collation is irrelevant.

Once you’ve done your printer test, use the following guide to inform your collation decision:

  • Straight Collation – If you load your paper face-up and it arrives face-down, choose a straight paper collation, and vice versa. 
  • Reverse Collation – If you load your paper in face-up and it comes out face-up, reverse collation is the right choice, and vice versa. 

3. Load Your Paper Tray Correctly

Once you’ve purchased carbonless paper with the correct collation, it’s time to load it into your printer. Use the same printer tray that you conducted your test with to ensure accuracy. 

Use the arrow on the ream of your carbonless paper to determine which way you load the paper. If your printer test produced a:

  • Face-up document: Load your paper ream into the tray so that the arrow points up. 
  • Face-down document: Load your paper ream into the tray so that the arrow points down. 

At this point, you are all set to print! 

4. Print the Right Number of Pages

If you want to print a multipart form, you’ll need to do some simple math to determine the right number of pages to print.

For example, to create a single three-part form, print three copies of your document. If you need 5 three-part forms in total, print 15 copies. The goal is to have enough pages to create your desired number of forms. 

Once printed, you can put your multipart forms together by stapling them, placing them in a clipboard, or gluing their edges together. 

Start Using Carbonless Paper For Laser Printers Today

Now you understand how carbonless paper works and now how to print multipart forms using a laser printer. By following these steps, you’ll enjoy the time-efficient, cost-effective benefits of carbonless paper printing

If you need a high-powered laser printer that can handle your carbonless paper forms, check out X-Digital’s refurbished Xerox laser printers. They come equipped with high-quality functionality, stellar technical support, and a comprehensive warranty to ensure professional printing for years to come!


Transparency Market Research. NCR Paper Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2019 – 2027.



Relyco. Carbonless Table. 


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