How to Make Grid Paper

You just can't find grid paper anymore.  You know, paper with a pre-printed grid used for graphing or charting or learning to draw.  Well, at Ram we can make you grid paper.  Letter size, 11x17, even blueprint size.  We constantly have math teachers, architects, and parents coming in asking for grid paper, so we've decided to write a little primer on the easiest way to do it.

Here's how to set up a file if you want to do it yourself.

  1. Open a new document on excel. 
  2. Select All (either by hitting Ctrl+A, going to Edit: Select All in the menu, or clicking in the null box on the top left of your workspace.)  
  3. Click and hold down the button over the small vertical divider between two columns across the top (between Column B and Column C, perhaps.)  Adjust it to a random number.  This will adjust every column to that new width.
  4. Click and hold down the button over the small horizontal divider between two rows along the left side (between Row B and Row C, perhaps.)  Adjust it to the same number as before.  This will adjust every row to that same height.
  5. Right click anywhere in the blue area and click Format Cells. 
  6. Choose Borders. 
  7. Select Outside. 
  8. Select Inside. 
  9. Hit OK and you're done!

Realistically before you hit Outside and Inside you're going to want to adjust the thickness and shading of the lines.  Unless you're building a crossword puzzle you probably don't want solid 1pt black lines--you probably a fine dot screen for the line pattern and 50% grey for the color.  But this will also depend on how much detail your printer can render.  Quite often too fine a pitch or too light a color may just not show up, or too heavy a line will, on a cheap printer, smear.  So you're basically just guess-and-check-ing right now pursuant to make it look right on your screen.

Now to print.  Print settings will vary by what kind of printer you have, so we'll just give you the basics.

  • File
  • Print
  • Print pages 1 to 1

If the squares come out too large or too small, the easiest thing to do is just to repeat steps 3 & 4 above, adjusting for a larger or smaller sized square. Then just guess and check.  Yes, you could measure it and do the calculations in advance, but there are way too many printer variations for that to hold up.

Done!  Again if you need a bunch of copies, or one poster-sized copy to hang on the board, or your prints cut to a particular size, or printed on odd or thick paper; call us.  And as always, call with questions!


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