College Ruled Paper Template

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  • March 9, 2019 Updated
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Much of the work done on paper just two decades ago is today done on computers, tablets, or even phones. Nevertheless, there is still a need for ruled paper. In many classrooms, and even on some campuses, computers and their derivatives aren’t permitted. In math classes in particular, students must still “show their work” by writing it by hand. And, at least for those of us who grew up before the turn of the millenium, there are some thoughts that just seem to come out better when they’re written on paper.

One conundrum students and others face today is the need for just a few sheets of lined paper, but the ability to buy it only in packets or pads of fifty sheets or more. At the same time, reams of loose leaf, unlined paper are probably sitting in their printer’s tray.

With our College Ruled Paper Template, you can turn a page of blank printer paper into lined paper of a quality that can be turned in to a teacher, professor, or even employer. College ruled paper, also known as “medium ruled paper,” has horizontal lines evenly spaced at .28 inches, with a vertical margin of about 1 inch. Our template can be formatted in three different paper sizes - US letter, legal, and A4. US letter size is the standard paper size in the United States. Legal size paper is another common paper size used in the US and it is similar to “foolscap paper size,” which is commonly used in the UK. A4 size paper is accepted world-wide (except in most US territories) as the standard paper size.

Template Contents

Below is a list of worksheets included in this paper template.

US Letter

Lined paper with space between each horizontal line measuring .34 inches. Evenly spaced horizontal lines are blue with a thicker, red vertical line on the left side of the paper. This worksheet is formatted in US letter paper size (8.5” x 11”).

US Letter BW

Lined paper with evenly spaced, black horizontal lines, and a thicker black vertical line on the left side of the paper. This worksheet is formatted in US letter paper size (8.5” x 11”).

Legal

Lined paper with evenly spaced, blue horizontal lines, and a thicker, red vertical line on the left side of the paper. This worksheet is formatted in legal paper size (8.5” x 14”).

Legal BW

Lined paper with evenly spaced, black horizontal lines, and a thicker black vertical line on the left side of the paper. This worksheet is formatted in legal paper size (8.5” x 14”).

A4

Lined paper with evenly spaced, blue horizontal lines, and a thicker red vertical line on the left side of the paper. This worksheet is formatted in A4 paper size (8.3” x 11.7”).

A4 BW

Lined paper with evenly spaced, black horizontal lines, and a thicker, black vertical line on the left side of the paper. This worksheet is formatted in A4 paper size (8.3” x 11.7”).

A Short History

When exactly was “college ruled” paper invented? That’s hard to say, but college ruled paper, as well as many other types of lined paper, probably came out not long after the very first lined paper was invented. Legend has it that an English man named John Tetlow first patented a paper ruling machine (for music and other purposes). The machine was patented in 1770, so it is possible that lined paper was invented around that time period. By the early 1800s, folks were toting lined paper around like it was the best thing since sliced bread - or would have been, had sliced bread even been invented yet!

Using College Ruled Paper

Lined paper can be useful as an aid for creating neat handwritten notes, letters, and research papers. College ruled paper is designed to fit more words on one page because the lines are spaced more closely together. The horizontal lines are used as guidelines for writing in straight lines across the page. The margin on the left side of the page is used to ensure that each sentence (unless indented) is written under the previous sentence. This way, words are neat and organized, rather than scattered all over the page.

To view a video on how to use the paper, please see this video.

Lined paper can be used for more than just taking notes. For example, you can plot graphs, write math equations, and sketch ideas. For the musically inclined, a piece of lined paper (and something to write with) is all that’s necessary to come up with the next big hit. Use the horizontal lines as guides to fold the perfect paper airplane or create origami. Lastly, let’s not forget about paper football and writing love notes to your secret crush.

Create Your Own Notebook

If you are a college student on a tight budget, you might consider using our college ruled printable paper to create your own notebook. Here’s how:

  • Print out multiple copies of any of the ruled paper worksheets.
  • Use a hole puncher to create holes on the left hand side of the paper.
  • Get creative and figure out how to hold the pages together.
    • One idea is to use 3 zip ties (one for each hole) to hold all the pages together.
    • You may also consider saving a cardboard box. Cut the cardboard to 2 pieces slightly larger than the lined paper and use the cardboard as a front and back for the notebook.

If you don’t feel like creating a notebook, you can simply print multiple lined paper sheets, punch holes in the paper, and purchase an empty 3-ring binder or folder to put the paper in.

Typing on Ruled Paper

Although it may seem counterintuitive because lined paper is traditionally used for handwriting, you can use the lined paper template in Excel to type a letter, note, or paper with a retro lined paper look.

College Ruled Paper Retro Look

For example, create a header, as shown above. To start a new line in the same cell, hold the “Alt” key and press “Enter.” Finally, for aesthetics, increase the font size for a tighter fit between lines. It might be fun to play around with different font styles, depending on your use case.

College Ruled Paper Hand Writing

Customize

If you’re tired of the traditional blue and red (or black) line colors on a white background, you can play around with different color schemes. For example, create a green background for your lined paper, as shown below.

College Ruled Paper Green Background

You can also change line color (and text color if you prefer to type). Lines can be modified using the “Line Color” and “Line Style” options found under the “Draw Borders” menu.

College Ruled Paper Line Color

Listed below are some Excel tutorials for changing background color, line style and color, and text color.

Change Background Color

https://support.office.com/en-ie/article/add-or-change-the-background-color-of-cells-ac10f131-b847-428f-b656-d65375fb815e

Change Line Style and Color

https://support.office.com/en-ie/article/change-the-color-style-or-weight-of-a-line-f96364db-4e03-4d0d-9243-e19084e49253

Change Text Color

https://support.office.com/en-ie/article/change-the-color-of-text-99b47f41-4e14-4551-a09d-820a004d1cde

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