DIY: Cut Sheet Carbonless Forms

Continuous carbonless forms have pretty much become dinosaurs, having been replaced by cut sheet carbonless, which is more economical and easier to use.  You can either have the forms professionally printed ( or, to save even more money, you can print them yourself.  It's really not a difficult process - let me walk you through it. 

Step 1

Determine how your printer feeds the paper.  Why do you need to know this?

  • To know whether to order reverse or straight collated paper.  You want the sheets to come out in the right order when you print them (white, yellow, pink) so you need to know how your printer feeds the paper.
  • To make sure that the paper is printed on the correct side.  The ream of paper will usually have an arrow on it or some indication of which side is the image side.  The way your printer feeds the paper will determine if you load it image side up or image side down.  Most laser printers use reverse collated and image side down.  Inkjet printers and copiers may be different. 
The black arrow indicates the image side

The black arrow indicates the image side

Step 2

Buy the paper.  (LOL)

Step 3

Fan the paper and jog it to make sure the edges are even, then insert it into your printer tray, according to the specifications from Step 1.

Step 4

Print!  Each copy will print as a separate sheet, so if you need 20 3-part forms, you would set your printer to run 60 copies. After they are printed, you can bind them many ways - or not bind them at all.  Some people prefer to use them loose, but you can also staple them, punch them and put them in a binder or classification folder, or pad them (which is really not difficult either).

If you want to pad them, you need a sturdy work surface, something heavy (a large book, a couple thick pieces of wood), padding adhesive and a brush.  

Place the forms on the work surface, stacking them carefully to ensure that the edges are even and put the heavy item on top to hold them in place. Simply brush them with the padding adhesive (work from the center out to the edges) and allow them to dry (about an hour).  Then just fan them apart with your hands.