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What is NCR Printing? NCR Printing Explained.

Posted by Chris Parvin on

NCR paper (No Carbon Required Paper) is an alternative to carbon paper, used to make a copy of an original, handwritten (or mechanically typed) document. The process was invented in 1952 by chemists Lowell Schleicher and Barry Green, working for the NCR Corporation, as a biodegradable, stain-free alternative to carbon paper.

Carbonless copy paper works in a simple way. It consists of sheets of paper that are coated with micro-encapsulated dye or ink and/or a reactive clay.

The back of the first sheet is coated with micro-encapsulated dye. The lowermost sheet is coated on the top surface with a clay that quickly reacts with the dye to form a permanent mark. Any intermediate sheets are coated with clay on top and dye on the bottom.

When someone writes on the sheets, the pressure from the point of the writing instrument causes the micro-capsules to break and spill their dye. Since the capsules are so small, the print obtained is very accurate.

Before NCR paper was invented, the only option was to write documents more than once or use messy Carbon paper which was inserted in between the sheet being written on and the required copy below, often ending up with the user having blue fingers. The invention of NCR Paper made duplicating, triplicating and even quadruplicating hand written and printed documents easy and clean.

NCR Paper is commonly used for Invoices, Receipts, Time Sheets, Delivery Notes and other  business documents where duplication is required. There are various colours of NCR paper  available such as white/yellow/pink/green/blue, in most instances white is the top copy and subsequent colours are beneath dependant on the number of duplicated pages required. For example; If you require 2 copies of a document being written/printed, you would have a white top part and one coloured second part below, this is called 2 Part (or Duplicate). For 3 copies, you would have a white top part and 2 coloured parts below, this is called 3 Part (or Triplicate). For 4 copies, you would have a white top part and 3 coloured parts below, this is called 4 Part (or Quadruplicate).

NCR Paper is usually supplied to the end user collated into Pads/Books which are bound into sets using glue or staples. Loose NCR Sets are also widely used for use in printers.

We hope this information gives you a good grounding into the NCR printing world! If you have any more questions involving NCR Printing. Please get in contact with us at NCR Print! Our email address is or give us a call on 0345 900 1315