NCR (No Carbon Required) Paper


NCR paper (No Carbon Required, taken from the initials of its creator, National Cash Register) otherwise known as carbonless copy paper or non-carbon copy paper is an effective yet simple method of replicating instantly what you write. This is achieved simply and cheaply without the need (as the name suggests) to insert a carbon sheet between the sheets you're writing on. Today the most common place you'll find NCR paper is in invoice books, receipt pads, NCR sets, NCR books and NCR pads.

NCR paper is a type of coated paper designed to transfer information written on the front onto sheets beneath. It was developed by chemists Lowell Schleicher and Barry Green in 1952 as an alternative to carbon paper and is sometimes misidentified as such.


Instead of inserting a special sheet of carbon paper in between the original and the intended copy, NCR books have micro-encapsulated dye or ink on the back side of the top sheet, and a clay coating on the front side of the bottom sheet. When pressure is applied (from hand writing or impact printing), the dye capsules burst and react with the clay to form a permanent blot duplicating the markings made to the top sheet. Intermediary sheets, with clay on the front and dye capsules on the back, can be used to create multiple copies; this may be referred to as multi-part stationery.

NCR books consists of sheets of papers that are coated with micro-encapsulated dye or ink or reactive clay. The back of the first sheet is coated with micro-encapsulated dye (referred to as a Coated Back or CB sheet). The lowermost sheet is coated on the top surface with clay that quickly reacts with the dye to form a permanent mark (Coated Front, CF sheet). Any intermediate sheets are coated with clay on top and dye on the bottom (Coated Front and Back, CFB sheet).

When the sheets are written on with pressure (e.g., ball-point pen) or impact (e.g., typewriter, dot-matrix printer), the pressure causes the micro-capsules to rupture and spill their dye. Since the capsules are so small, the print obtained is very accurate. NCR paper is also available in a self-contained version that had both the ink and the clay on the same side of the paper.

No Carbon Required paper was first produced by the NCR Corporation. Before this the usual options were to write documents more than once or use carbon paper which was inserted between the sheet being written on and the copy. The paper was commonly used for business stationery requiring one or more copies of the original, such as invoices and receipts. The sheets are usually glued together (using a special fan-part adhesive that creates a strong bond with the coated sides only) to form the 2-part, 3-part or 4-part ‘sets'. It is possible for NCR sets to comprise of even more sheets but these are the most common formats.

To prevent the unwanted transfer between sets a thin card or ‘writing shield' is placed between them before use. There is also a CF (bottom sheet) prod uced in a much heavier weight, 170gsm, which performs much the same function.


There are a number of different colours available for each NCR book as well, white being the most common for the top sheet, with pink, green, yellow and blue for the others. Lastly since all our NCR set printing is digital, you have the added benefits of numbering, variable-data personalisation and duplexing (two-sided printing)!

NCR pads are ideal for paperwork on the move where you need multiple copies of the same document, right there and then. Use them for deliveries, recording site work carried out, field inspection records, receipt pads and invoice books– all the times when you need to keep a record while also leaving a copy with someone else. The sheets are printed with the desired format and can be sequentially numbered for reference.

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