How to Print on Transparency Paper? (An Ultimate Guide 2024)

Screen printing is a popular method used for t-shirts, posters, and other promotional materials. Though it can seem daunting, screen printing on transparency paper is quite simple – and the results can be stunning!

To print on transparency paper, we can employ any laser painter. But we must keep in mind the compatibility of transparency paper with the printer, the size of the print, and the ink being used.  

In this article, we’ll go over how to print on transparency paper for screen printing—from choosing the right printer and materials to setting up the design correctly. Read on to learn more!

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What is Transparency Paper?

Transparency is made from thin and lightweight acetate or sometimes polyester (Mylar) material. Transparency paper is also commonly used in screen printing to create film positives, which are then used to burn the design onto the screen for printing

As they are clear, Light can pass through the transparency paper, which makes it useful for projecting images. This quality makes them usable for a variety of purposes, like in overhead projections and back-lit displays. 

This versatile material is available in various sizes and thicknesses and can be used with multiple printing technologies, including inkjet and laser printers.

How to Print on Transparency Paper for Screen Printing (Easy Way) 

Following these steps, you can easily print on transparency paper for screen printing projects. You can produce professional results if you take care and pay attention to details such as paper settings and ink quality. 

Step -1 Choose the Right Kind of Transparency Paper

Typically, two main types of transparency paper are available in the market – photo and craft quality. Photo quality transparency paper is more expensive, but it will produce better results.

You can purchase any of the desired transparency paper from a nearby store. 

Make sure to use the right kind of printer. Don't use inkjet transparency paper in the laser printer, as transparency may melt and damage the printer. 

Step -2 Make the Printer Ready 

Nowadays, transparency paper packages come up with cleaning sheets. These sheets help in cleaning and removing the inks from printers. This cleaning is crucial as sometimes ink can smear on the transparency paper. 

All you have to do is pass the cleaning sheet through the printer with the help of the printer feed button. Avoid printing on the sheet and save it for future use. 

Step -3 Place Transparency Paper in the Printer 

Placing transparency into the printer is essential as we have to print on the rough side. First, get a print on regular paper if you need clarification on loading paper. 

Place only one transparency paper at a time, as it can jam the printer. Jamming of the printer will cause a wastage of paper and ink. 

Step -4 Examine the Image

When printing on transparency paper for screen printing, make sure that image is clear and has visible boundaries. If it is black and white, it will be easier to print.   

Step -5 Check Settings of the Printer  

When you are about to print on the transparency, change the printer’s setting. Normally, printers have default settings for printing on regular papers.

Now, you have to change the settings under the printing preferences. Go to ‘paper type’ and change it to transparencies. Select the settings for color contrast as per your design requirements.   

If your printer doesn’t show transparency settings, go to the glossy paper setting.

Step -6 Print the Page

Once all settings are done, you can click on ‘File’ and ‘Print.’ All your design parts will come over the transparency paper with given colors. 

Step -7 Use Transparency Consciously

To start a screen-printing business, you must be very professional. Storing your printed transparency at home will degrade it with time. 

Don’t touch transparency with wet and oily hands, and the ink will run away.   

Don’t touch just after printing on the transparency paper to avoid smudges from the ink. 

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How to Print on Transparency Paper HP

Do you want to print on transparency paper with an HP printer? Sure, you can perform this task. To achieve the best results, it’s important to use a compatible HP printer, transparency paper, and the correct type of ink.

Below are some tips to help you get started with printing on transparency paper using an HP printer:

  • Choose an HP printer that is designed for printing on transparency paper. Some HP printers have a special tray or setting specifically for this media type, along with regular paper printing.
  • Now, clean the printer tray and place the transparency paper here. Be sure to handle the paper gently to avoid scratches or damage.
  • Use the correct type of ink. Many HP printers use dye-based inks, which are not recommended for printing on transparency paper. Look for an HP printer that uses pigment-based inks that are more suitable for printing on transparency papers.
  • Check the printing settings of the HP printer to print on transparency paper. Also, adjust the print color quality, contrast, and resolution to the highest setting to get the best results.

Print a test page to ensure the image is aligned and the ink is transferring properly to the transparency paper. Make sure to print on the rough side of transparency paper.

How to Print on Transparency Paper Epson (Guide)

Epson printers are the right choice for printing transparencies if they can change the ‘paper type’ settings. But some Epson printer models are incompatible with transparencies and keep spitting out blank sheets.  

So, we have tested an Epson printer in our store and followed these steps, and the results are excellent.

Step -1 Check the Rough Side of Transparency

Select the correct side (rough) of the transparency paper for printing purposes. Lick your finger and touch one corner; if the finger feels rough, print on this side.

If you mistakenly print on the shiny side of the transparency sheet, the ink will wipe off.

Step -2 One Sheet at a Time

Place only one transparency sheet in the printer tray at a time. Placing an entire pack of sheets will cause transparencies to stick and jam the printer.

Step -3 Update Printer Drivers

Check drivers of printing software. Whether they are up to date or not? If not, then update them first and then move forward.

Step -4 Adjust Paper Type and Print Settings

You want to choose the rough side to print on. So, go to the file and adjust the correct settings in the print dialog box.

Print settings vary from printer to printer as we use Epson ET 2760. For this model, Check the box for desired print color, select ‘transparency,’ and hit the best quality checkbox.

Step- 5 Switch Artwork Programs

Use Cricut design space or Silhouette Studio to print your design in an Epson printer. Always save your design work in .pdf file format and open it in Acrobat Reader.

Step -6 Print the Page

Once all settings are done, you can click on ‘File’ and ‘Print.’ All your design parts will come over the transparency paper with given colors.

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Tips to Print on Transparency Paper for Best Results

follow these tips to get the best results when printing on transparency paper for screen printing;

Use a laser printer. Inkjet printers can clog the mesh on your screen, making it challenging to print clearly.

Set your printer to its highest quality setting. This will ensure that your image is clear and crisp.

Position the transparency paper correctly in the printer tray before printing. Your image may be distorted or printed incorrectly if it needs to be set correctly.

Print a test page first to check the quality of your print before printing the final version. This will help you catch any mistakes so you can fix them before printing on your final piece of transparency paper.

Alternatives to Using Transparency Paper for Screen Printing

There are a few different ways to print on transparency paper for screen printing without using the traditional method of painting your design onto the paper. 

Use a stencil, which you can either purchase or make yourself. 

Use a decal transfer, a type of applique that can be transferred onto your transparency paper. 

Finally, another option is to use a digital process to print your design onto the transparency paper.


In conclusion, printing on transparency paper for screen printing requires careful attention to detail and precise techniques. You can achieve a perfect print every time by using the correct printer and ink, properly loading the transparency, and using a high-quality film positive. 

Always perform a test print first, and adjust your settings as needed. With these tips, you can learn how to print on transparency for screen printing having vibrant, crisp, and clear images. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Print on Transparency Paper with Laser Printer?

Yes, definitely.
First, you have to change the “paper type” settings of the Laser printer. Gently place the transparency sheet into the printer tray to avoid jamming and sticking. But, print the design on transparency one by one.

Can you print images on transparency paper?

Yes, Of course
All the design images are printed on transparency paper through various printers such as Epson and Canon. You must change the settings from regular paper to ‘transparency’ or select ‘specialty paper.   

which side to print on transparency paper?

The rough side of transparency paper is perfect for printing.
Transparencies have a smooth, shiny side and a rough textured side. So, make sure to print on the rough side. If you mistakenly print on the smooth side, the ink will not dry and smears resultantly.  

Can you print on transparency paper with a regular printer?

Yes, it’s possible.
Some experts use regular printers to print their designs with transparency. Check if your printer can print on transparency so you can move on.   

Can I print on transparency film with an inkjet printer?

Yes, you can use an inkjet printer to print on transparency after configuring the printer’s settings, cleaning the last print ink, and changing the ‘paper type’ to ‘transparency.’
But here is a limit of color settings as the inkjet printer will go with the black and white image with clear boundaries.    

What printer settings should I use when printing on transparency paper?

Change the setting of the printer from regular printing to transparency. Most printers have this option. 

What type of ink should I use when printing on transparency paper?

An Opaque ink.
For screen printing purposes, you’ll want to use opaque ink. This will ensure that your printed design is visible on the final product. 

Can I print photos on transparency paper?

Surely Yes. 
Transparency paper is the best choice for printing photos as the ink doesn’t fade or bleed frequently. To get better results, use high-quality ink and adjust the correct settings in the printer. 

Can I use transparency paper for projects other than printing?

Yes! Transparency paper is a versatile material used in all sorts of creative projects. You can use it to make transparencies for overhead projectors, crop and transfer your artwork onto other surfaces, or even create unique window treatments.

Can Canon Pixma mg2522 print on transparency paper?

Definitely, Yes.
Transparency film made for inkjet with a special film on one side can work with this printer.

Which printer can print on transparency?

Epson ET-14000 inkjet printer
It is the best choice for printing on transparencies, as its Print Fab software is ideal and compatible with transparency paper printing. 

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