The term loose leaf is used in the United States, Canada, and some other countries to describe a piece of notebook paper which isn't actually fixed in a spiral notebook. In some places, like the United Kingdom, the phrase loose leaf refers more to the flexible system of storing loose pages in a binder than to the actual paper.

Typically loose leaf paper has straight blue lines with pink margin lines. This type of paper is normally sold in packs of 100 or 200 sheets and are not necessarily sold loose which means they can be torn out of notebooks with perforations. Loose leaf generally has three holes so that the piece of paper can fit into a three-ringed binder.

Most of the time, loose leaf paper comes in two types, which are either wide ruled or college ruled. These two types vary such that college ruled paper has less space between the blue lines, allowing for more rows of writing. Wide ruled paper is intended for use by grade school children and those with larger handwriting.


Looseleaf service is a form of publishing invented by Richard Prentice Ettinger in 1914, founder of Prentice Hall. As a 19-year-old assistant to his Princeton University tax professor he was awarded with the then lucrative task of publishing the professor's book at his own risk. The first print run sold well and he ordered a second print run from an outside printing company. On the very day that this second print run arrived the United States Congress changed the tax law enough that the book was outdated. Faced with this challenge Ettinger came up with the idea of cutting the pages (leaves) loose, replacing the few pages where changes in the tax code had occurred, drilling holes through the pages and putting them into a ring-binder. Even though it was more costly it did have the added benefit that all future changes of the tax code could easily be accommodated by simply exchanging a single leaf.

See also


  • History of Size
  • International standard paper sizes
  • Pre-Industrial Papermaking


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.