All the Paper Weight Conversion Resources You'll Ever Need

By: Marco
March 24, 2014

printer_paper_weightsPaper weight may be a concern of yours when unique projects with custom parameters need to be printed within your office. Before you get started, you’ll want to be sure that you know your options and what weights are compatible with your printer, in order to achieve the best results.

If your printing needs are fairly basic, paper weight isn’t something you’ll give much attention to, if any. However, if you do ever need or want to add variety and depth to your printed results, paper weight is one of the variables you can manipulate. Paper weight can affect the look, feel and overall message of your printed piece(s) – so it is useful to be aware of the options you have, should the opportunity to be more creative arise.

Unfortunately, paper weight options aren’t simple. We’ve assembled a list of useful resources for you to reference when exploring your options or trying to determine the best paper type and weight for your unique project.

Resources for Reference and Clarification

Unfortunately, when it comes to choosing paper weight, there isn’t a formula you can memorize or a chart to reference to make your decision easier. Much of the confusion stems from the variety in paper types and the overlap that occurs among these options. However, there are a few resources that may be helpful in eliminating the confusion over paper weight:

#1: Marco’s Cheat Sheet for Paper Weight

This resource is very valuable when it comes time to purchase your paper. It presents a chart that offers a breakdown of paper weight by paper type, with readily available options highlighted. Our blog article supplements this PDF by explaining the difference and unique characteristics of each paper type: Clarification for the Confusion Surrounding Paper Stock. Together they present an overview of your options. Download the PDF:

Download Paper Weight Conversion Chart Get Conversion Chart

#2: Paper Sizes

Paper Sizes is a website that provides explanations about current international paper sizes that are covered by the ISO 216 Standards. Size charts are provided so users can quickly look up information on different paper sizes. Additionally, there is information on the specific sizes of particular paper formats. Paper weights are also covered in depth on this site and corresponding charts for weights are provided.

#3: Paper-Paper

This site’s purpose is to eliminate the “paper weight” confusion problem we all face. The page maintains a listing of comprehensive tables that allow users to compare various types of paper and their “equivalent weights”.

#4: Case Paper

There are numerous calculators available via this resource. A paper thickness chart, grammage calculator (calculates paper weight in grams), width conversion, length conversion, pages per inch, and an equivalent weights and grammage chart to assist users in paper calculations.

#5: New Page Equivalent Weights

This resource allows users to select a paper type to view equivalent weights. The charts provided list equivalent basis weights and metric equivalents.

#6: Paper Catalog: Formulas, Weights, and Measures

This resource provides a detailed explanation of formulas and tables that you can use to determine the relationship of various sizes, weights and paper thicknesses. Basis weights, weight of sheets of varying dimensions, bulk of sheets of varying weights and calipers and the economical use of paper sizes are covered. Weight and square footage of rolls are also provided. The Paper Catalog also offers other comprehensive explanations of paper related facts and information.

#7: Graphic Communications -Caliper to PPI Calculator

You can use this calculator to enter a number for pages per inch, or caliper. There is a PPI conversion chart that you can use as a quick reference guide if starting with PPI in order to avoid multiplying the caliper by 1,000.


The paper weight conundrum exists because within each paper type, the paper weight increases in addition to the sturdiness and thickness. There are far too many variables that exist between different papers to develop a single formula to determine appropriate paper weight. This is why the numerous conversion charts, tools and calculators are available.

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