What Is Carbonless Paper Printing?

What Is Carbonless Paper Printing?

Record-keeping is an integral part of running a business. There are many occasions where you need to duplicate an original document, either for your own records or for those of your customers. 

Fortunately, carbonless paper makes this process easy and efficient. So, what is carbonless paper printing and how does it work? Let’s take a look at how it applies to your new or refurbished printers

What is Carbonless Paper?

Carbonless paper, also known as No Carbon Required (NCR) paper, is a special type of paper that’s coated with chemicals. This chemical coating enables it to duplicate original documents and multipart forms.

However, to better understand carbonless paper, you need to familiarize yourself with its predecessor: carbon paper. 

Carbonless Paper: The New and Improved Version of Carbon Paper

Carbonless paper is a modern replacement for carbon paper. A Scottish engineer invented carbon paper in 1779, since he didn’t trust copy clerks to reproduce his business documents accurately. 

Carbon paper produces copies through the process of wedging a carbon sheet in between two regular sheets of paper. When writing on the top sheet of paper, pressure from the pen causes the carbon paper’s ink to transfer to the bottom sheet as well, creating a carbon copy.

While carbon paper has been used for decades, carbonless paper has sent it into obsolescence. This fallout has occurred for a few reasons:

  • It’s messy – Carbon paper’s ink-coating transfers black powder to your hands and other surfaces. Carbonless paper, on the other hand, is mess-free.  
  • It poses security issues – During carbon paper copying, all sheets become impressed with the written information, including the carbon sheet. Since this sheet is usually thrown away, it puts its information at risk. 
  • It harms printers – Carbon paper contains solvent-based chemicals that could harm your printer’s equipment. On the other hand, carbonless laser paper has been manufactured specifically for printer compatibility. 

How Does Carbonless Paper Printing Work?

Unlike carbon paper, which is solvent-based, carbonless paper is coated with tiny capsules of chemicals. These chemicals come in two forms: back-coated and front-coated. 

  • Back-coated chemicals: Found on the back of the page, these chemicals contain a special dye. 
  • Front-coated chemicals: Found on the front of the page, these chemicals contain an invisible clay. 

As pressure is applied from a pen, the carbonless paper’s capsules burst, releasing the chemicals. As these chemicals interact with each other, they create a permanent mark.

What is Carbonless Paper Used For?

Carbonless paper has many applications. It’s most frequently used for reproducing original business documents, such as:

  • Purchase orders
  • Invoices
  • Receipts
  • Applications
  • Claim forms
  • Medical forms
  • Government forms
  • Legal forms
  • Delivery notes
  • Contracts
  • Terms & Conditions agreements

As a result, you’ll often see carbonless paper for laser printers  in doctor’s offices, schools, leasing offices, and many other business establishments. 

The use of carbonless paper reduces administrative burdens, speeding up the document duplication process significantly. Learn how to use carbonless paper. It also comes with a host of other benefits. 

What Are the Benefits of Carbonless Paper Printing?

There are many benefits to carbonless paper printing:

  • It ensures accuracy – Since carbonless paper copies are created directly from the original, they prevent the possibility of costly transcription errors. 
  • It offers more security – Any attempt to alter a duplicate document will be obvious with carbonless paper printing, since you can always compare it to the original. As a result, it offers a much-needed layer of security to important forms. 
  • It’s environmentally-friendly – Carbonless paper is biodegradable, making it an eco-friendly option. 
  • It’s cost-effective – Did you know that 30% of pre-printed forms are thrown away within 6 to 12 months? This is wasteful and expensive. Fortunately, carbonless paper printing allows you to use the exact amount of paper you need and nothing more. 
  • It’s time-efficient – Carbonless paper printing is incredibly efficient, as it produces multiple forms at once, giving you more time to attend to other tasks. 

As you can see, carbonless paper printing significantly improves the quality of duplicated documents. It’s a cost-effective way to produce multipart forms and maintain error-free record-keeping. 

How to Print With Carbonless Paper

To use a laser printer for carbonless paper printing, simply follow these steps:

  1. Pull up the form document on your computer.
  2. Locate the arrow on the edge of the carbonless laser paper ream. 
  3. Use this arrow to determine which way to load the paper. (The arrow should point to the side that your printer will print on) 
  4. Load carbonless paper into the tray.
  5. Print the desired number of documents. 

Due to the ease of carbonless paper printing with a laser printer, you will be able to create professional, stunning forms in no time. 

Get Started with Carbonless Paper Printing Today

As you can see, carbonless paper printing is an instrumental tool for any business that creates forms, applications, or other original documents. All you need is carbonless paper and the right laser printer. 

X-Digital offers Xerox laser printers at an affordable price. You can expect up to 70% savings on refurbished machines, as compared to purchasing a one brand new. X-Digital guarantees like-new performance, offers a comprehensive warranty, and provides top-notch technical support. 

Most importantly, our printers can handle any of your carbonless paper printing needs.


Encyclopedia.com. Carbon Paper. 


Relyco. Laser & Digital Carbonless Paper.


Contact the Xerox machine experts at X-Digital for any questions about our refurbishing process, to request further information, or if you have a Xerox machine to sell. If you have already done (or are currently doing) business with us, tell us about your experience and let us know how we’re doing!



1914 Mission Road, Suites K&L, Escondido, CA 92029

Phone and Fax



We have 30 years specializing in refurbishing and selling the full line of Xerox office equipment. With years of experience in the printer industry, we have defined the right way to properly refurbish Xerox products. Quality you can trust, shop with X-Digital.

© 2019 X-Digital All Rights Reserved.

Xerox has selected X-Digital to be one of its only refurbished and new Xerox machine sellers.