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Carbonless paper has chemical coatings on one or both sides that create an image on all sheets in the set when you write on the set instead of using waxy black carbons in between each sheet. There are many brands these days but it was invented by National Cash Register (NCR) years ago and so carbonless paper in general is often called NCR as a result. Some say NCR now means “no carbon required” but it really is a brand name that has become generic. Carbonless forms have been available from printers for decades but now with digital printers people can easily print their own forms.


Blank carbonless paper allows you to print your own multiple-part forms instead of buying your forms already printed. You can use our blank carbonless paper on most any kind of printing device including laser and inkjet printers, copiers and high speed duplicators, even offset presses. Keep in mind that you must print each sheet individually so for a three part form you print three sheets in a row in your printer. Then you can staple them together or put special glue on the edge to hold the sheets together. Once together you can fill in these forms with ball point pen, any impact computer printer like dot matrix, or a typewriter.


Forms that you buy already printed have the advantage that you don’t have to print each page separately on your printer. In many cases stock forms (like all the Michigan court forms we sell) are more convenient and faster to use than printing each sheet. In addition stock forms are reasonably priced even in small quantities. But for custom printed forms, say for your specific company, they are only reasonably priced when you buy a fairly large lot at a time (like 500 or for the best prices, thousands). Of course we custom print forms both in individual sets and continuous feed forms and for large quantities we recommend our custom printing. Just call us for a quote. In smaller quantities, however, custom forms can be expensive and if the forms change you waste all the obsolete forms.


Forms made from blank carbonless paper that you print yourself are much cheaper when you only need a few forms and they offer a big advantage if you want to vary the information on each form. If you have the information in your computer, a data base, that will be used to fill in some of the blank fields on a form, you can print the form and the data for each form from your data base to have a finished form with much of the data already filled in. The form is then just waiting for signatures or other last blank fields to be filled in that still need to image down through all parts. Court forms are a good example where you can print the multipart form yourself with the plaintiff and defendant information already added and then take it to the court for the judge or clerk to sign. They sign once yet the signature images down through all parts.


  1. You can print as few as you like.
  2. You eliminate the waste and obsolescence of printed forms. By some accounts 30-50% of printed forms are never used because the forms get changed or the business process changes.
  3. You can merge variable data with the base form when printing on digital printers.

First understand how it makes the image:

Carbonless paper is usually sold in “precollated sets”. For example, for a 3-part form the paper is normally arranged in repeated sets of three colors, like white, canary, pink. In this case the white would have a coating of microscopic bubbles or “capsules” on the back so is called “coated back” or CB. The canary (yellow) sheet has a smooth coating on the front that turns blue/black when any of the microscopic capsules on the back of the white sheet burst from the pressure of a pen and combine with the coating on the front of the canary sheet. The canary sheet also has the capsules on the back so is “coated front and back” or CFB. The pink sheet only has the coating on the front to image from the capsules on the back of the canary sheet, so the pink sheet is called “coated front” or CF.

A four part form is normally white, canary, pink, gold, where both the canary and pink sheets are coated both sides (CFB). The three or four part sequence repeats down through the ream so the paper is called precollated (collated means arranged in the right order).

So what’s the problem?

So if you print 2-part, 3-part, 4-part, and 5-part forms, with precollated sets you have to buy all four types of precollated sets. When you change to a different number of parts you must remove the paper from your printer and replace it with precollated sets of the right number of parts. Well this takes your time and money to buy all these different precollated sets to keep on hand. Even worse some printers don’t turn the paper over when it comes out so you need to buy reverse sequence sets for one sided printing and straight sequence sets for two sided forms. (The examples above are called straight sequence). If the printed side comes out face up on your printer, for a 3-part form you would need to print the pink first, then the canary, and then the white so the white comes out on top. That is reverse sequence (printed one side).


You just buy one kind of paper

We offer a far better alternative in all white CFB paper. All the sheets are coated on both sides so any sheet will image on the next sheet. Once you load your paper tray you can print a 2-part form, then a 5-part form, even a 6 or 7 part form without changing the paper. You buy one kind and print all your forms with the same CFB paper. If there is print on the back just turn it over and put it back in to print the back. Simple.

All white is better than colors

The all white paper is another advantage because the blue/black image shows up better with far higher contrast against white paper than against darker colored paper and so it photocopies better, microfilms more clearly, and is just easier to read. For many parts, like 5 or 6 part forms, the image gets lighter as you go down through the parts so having white paper for the bottom parts makes all the difference in a usable form versus one where you can hardly read the bottom copy. So it allows you more parts in the set.

Don’t worry, you don’t need those colors.

Sure you may be used to your forms coming in colored precollated sets. Before digital printers, medium to short runs of forms were printed on small offset printing presses where each part has to print exactly the same from one printing plate. Colored paper was the only way to tell who got which part. Now with digital printers, since each part is printed by itself you can add a word at the top or bottom saying who gets that part, like “remittance copy”, “file copy”, or “original”. There is no need for colors to indicate who gets what part.


Well it costs a bit more than precollated sets. CFB paper costs a bit more than CB, which itself costs more than CF paper. So using all CFB does cost more than precollated sets that contain the less expensive top and bottom sheets to a set. If you are going to print a lot of forms all with the same number of parts you might consider precollated sets which we can get for you. Still all CFB is so much more convenient if you change number of parts often and being all white paper, we think it is easily worth a bit more.

The edge glue that is used with precollated sets is not much good for forms made with all CFB. People using all CFB usually simply staple the sets together (and many bigger copiers have built in staplers making that easy). The special glue used to glue the edges together of precollated sets only sticks pages together where there is a coated back touching a coated front. Between sets the pages won’t glue together so you can glue the edge of a whole pile of precollated forms and once dry the forms will separate as sets. Forms made with all CFB could still be edge glued but you would need to separate each set with a something like a letter opener. So if you don’t want to do that and don’t want to use staples, you can still order precollated sets from us. They just might not be in stock so allow us an extra day or two.


About our CFB paper:

Excel-One brand We can get many brands of carbonless paper including NCR or Nekoosa brands if you require a specific brand but we stock Excel-One at great prices and recommend you try it.

Environmentally friendly: The maker of Excel-One is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and by the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) insuring it is made from wood from well managed sustainable forests. In addition they are the only carbonless manufacturer to use “NatureSolv” in the microscopic capsules on the back of their paper, which is made from natural renewable sources instead of petrochemicals.

Great runability. Excel-One is guaranteed to run on laser, inkjet, high speed copiers or duplicators and offset presses. The paper has a high fiber content with less filler for a stiffer sheet that offers great runability while keeping the sheet down to a 20 pound sheet that is thin enough to image intensely even through 5 copies. Other brands made for digital printing are up to 23 pound sheets that won’t image as well through many parts.

Great price. Note that prices on paper are volatile and our price can change even before we get this site updated. The most recent updated price per ream of 500 sheets is $20.50 plus applicable taxes and shipping. For 10 reams, a full carton, the price is $18.50 per ream ($185 per carton). Large orders of 10 cartons or more can be delivered in most of Lower Michigan with minimal or no shipping charges. Sometimes free shipping on large orders can be arranged in other states as well. For details email us at: or call 800-258-0258.

We also have great prices on precollated sets but just don’t stock much so call for prices and delivery time.

Service Center: 800.258.0258