Carbonless Paper FAQs: Everything You Need to Know
REIMAGE Carbonless Laser Paper is an environmentally-friendly, cost-effective, laser printer compatible carbonless paper solution. It is ideal for converting continuous carbonless forms to a laser format.
Frequently Asked Questions about Carbonless Laser Paper
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about carbonless laser paper.
Q. Can I use traditional carbonless paper in my laser printer?
A. Traditional carbonless paper—the kind typically used in continuous, multi-part forms—is not intended for use in a laser printer. Although traditional carbonless paper will run through most printers, it is manufactured with solvent-based chemicals that can cause severe damage to rollers, drums and other critical printer components.
REIMAGE Carbonless Laser Paper is manufactured specifically for safe use in laser printers and digital copiers and will not damage printing equipment.
Q. Do the forms run through the printer at the same time? How do the forms stay together? How does the laser printer print multiple copies of the same form?
A. Traditional carbonless multi-part forms are made up of multiple sheets that are usually pin fed through an impact printer via removable line holes on either side. These types of forms are printed on the top page, and that printing is imaged on the remaining parts using carbonless technology. All the printing and imaging is done simultaneously (one pass through the printer).
Since a laser printer can only print a single sheet at a time, with carbonless laser forms, a user prints multiple copies of the same form. For example, with a three-part form, you simply print three copies of each form, one after the other, on the carbonless laser paper. The paper for multi-part forms can be purchased pre-collated; with a three-part form, the top sheet is white, the middle sheet is canary and the bottom sheet is pink. So if you needed four sets of three-part forms, for example, you can just set the printer to print 12 copies. The paper will come out of the printer in the correct order.
Once they’ve been printed, the forms may be stapled, bound or glued into sets, or left as is, without any binding.
Q. Does laser carbonless paper come pre-collated and un-collated?
A. REIMAGE Carbonless Laser Paper is available pre-collated for single tray use or uncollated for use in multiple-tray (or even multiple-printer) applications. Pre-collated carbonless laser paper is available in straight and reverse sequences for three-part and four-part forms. Why? Because different laser printer models load, feed and output differently, so you want to make sure you use the collation type that is compatible with your printer. To determine whether you need straight or reverse collated paper, follow the instructions to test printer output in this blog post or in this printable document.
Once you have completed the test to determine what your printer output is, you can use this chart to know the collation you need:
|Paper input||Printer output||What form you will need|
|Face up||Face up||Reverse collated forms|
|Face up||Face down||Straight collated forms|
|Face down||Face down||Reverse collated forms|
|Face down||Face up||Straight collated forms|
Q. Why does reverse vs. straight collation matter? How do the forms flow through the printer?
A. Understanding your printer’s output is extremely important for carbonless forms. Why? Carbonless forms have special coatings on certain sides that allow the transfer of writing through the paper sets. If the paper gets flipped during printing, then the correct coatings may no longer line up for the finished product, which would render the paper useless.
In straight collated forms, the printer pulls the stock in the tray from the top of the stack. Then it outputs it face down. As you lift them off the tray and turn them over, they are in the correct order, ready for use.
Again, in reverse collated forms, the printer will pull the paper from the top of the stack, but it will start with sheet 3. So you load your input tray with sheet 3 (the pink form) at the top, face up. Output will be white sheet on top, face up. The forms will be in the correct order to use. Be sure not to change that order.
Is this explanation confusing to you? Don’t worry! We included it for the visual learners, but it can be too much for others. Simply follow the printer output test steps outlined here and order reverse or straight forms based on your results.
Q. Why don’t I need to worry about straight vs. reverse sequencing for two-part forms?
A. You can purchase our two-part carbonless laser paper pre-collated, but you don’t need to choose between reverse or straight collation (like you do with three or four-part forms). Why? Because when dealing with only two sheets of paper, they can’t get out of order. But it is still important to do your printer input test (in the next question) to make sure you put the paper in the tray properly.
Q. Do I put the paper face up or face down in my printer tray?
Q. Is testing laser carbonless paper recommended?
A. Yes! Because each application is unique, physical testing of REIMAGE Carbonless Laser Paper using the actual laser printer and laser printer trays on which the forms will be printed is the most effective way to determine which REIMAGE option is right for you. Please make sure to do the testing recommended in this blog post and request free samples if you need them! When printing multi-part forms, we always recommend that you print one set – and test that the transfer of writing works – prior to each print run.
This post was originally published in March 2015. It has been updated in June 2019.