NCR Printing Guide
What does NCR paper stand for?
NCR stands for No Carbon Required; since it enables you to create carbon copies without the need for a separate carbon paper sheet.
(It also stands for National Cash Register; the corporation that invented carbonless paper way back in 1953!)
NCR paper is also known as carbonless paper, carbonless copy paper, carbonless duplicate paper and multipart stationery.
How does NCR paper work?
NCR paper enables you to create instant copies of a handwritten document without a scanner, printer or photocopier.
Each NCR page consists of two or more layered paper sheets, which are printed with a dye backing. As you write onto the top sheet, the pressure applied from the pen transfers the dye onto the sheet underneath – creating an identical counterpart of the original document.
Are carbon copy paper & NCR/carbonless copy paper the same thing?
Not quite – but they work very similarly and achieve the same results!
Traditional ‘carbon paper’ is a paper or plastic sheet coated with dry ink, which you place in between the sheet you’re writing on and the blank sheet you want to copy onto. The resulting identical copy is known as a ‘carbon copy’.
Carbonless NCR paper is the next evolution of carbon paper, with the dye ‘built in’ to the writing sheet itself so you can create carbon copies with no prior preparation. Simply write onto the top sheet and your writing will appear on the sheet beneath.
What are 2-part, 3-part, 4-part & 5-part NCR sets?
NCR paper sets are also known as ‘multipart stationery’. That’s because each set consists of multiple paper sheets or ‘parts’; stacked together and sealed lightly along one edge with padding glue.
Put simply, the part number simply refers to the number of individual sheets in each carbonless set; and the number of identical copies you’ll get when you write on them:
- A 2-part NCR form features one top sheet & one counterpart sheet; enabling you to duplicate your writing across two sheets.
- A 3-part NCR form features a top sheet & two counterpart sheets; so writing on the top sheet will triplicate your writing.
- A 4-part NCR form features a top sheet & three counterpart sheets; quadruplicating anything you write on the top sheet.
- And so on
Every sheet in the set (except the bottom one) features the same dye backing, so anything written on the top part will appear on the other parts too.
What NCR paper products are available?
NCR papers can be supplied in a variety of standard formats:
- NCR sets: Individual loose NCR forms. Each set consists of a top sheet & counterpart sheet(s) arranged in a stack & lightly glued at one edge for easy separation.
- NCR pads: Combines multiple NCR sets into a full paper pad stack. Finished with padding glue for easy tear-out of each form set. Simple & cost-effective!
- NCR books: A more presentable alternative to pads with front & back covers; bound with spine tape & perforated near the spine for easy tear-out.
Writing shields / Writing guards
If you’re using an NCR pad or book, sometimes writing on the top page set can activate the dye backing on the sets underneath.
To prevent leaving unwanted marks on your pad/book pages, you can use a shield underneath, these are supplied as loose or taped cardstock sheets as standard.