How to Print on Overhead Projector Sheets

Written by linda donahue | 13/05/2017
How to Print on Overhead Projector Sheets
Print your own overhead projector sheets for a class set. (Noel Hendrickson/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Even in this age of computers, the overhead projector remains a common classroom teaching tool. As a teacher, you can create your own class set of transparencies for years of use. To make the set professional looking, design and print your transparencies using a computer and printer. For best results, you will have to use the correct type of transparencies, of which there are two basic types: those on which you write; and those you can run through a printer. With the correct transparencies, you can easily print your own overhead projector sheets, using the software of your preference.

Load the printer with printable transparencies. Make sure you have the right kind of transparencies, as only printable ones have a coating that will enable them to take ink from printers. For added care, load one transparency at a time and reload the printer for each print job.

Open your preferred editing software package and design your transparency. Keep in mind that even though the projector will enlarge the image, small type can still be hard to read. Use a large font and use plenty of spacing. Crowded words or images will be harder to discern. Remember to simplify and focus each transparency on a single topic or point.

Print as you normally would. Depending on your printer and the software package, you may have an option in the print menu to select the type of "paper" used for printing. If this is the case, you should have a selection of paper types. Choose the one that either says transparency or is the closest choice. Most newer printers are able to determine the printing surface, and will make the choice for you.

Remove the transparency from your printer. Usually, boxes of printable transparencies come with paper inserts between the transparencies. Use these to protect your transparency. If your brand does not come this way, you can use ordinary paper between the transparencies. Not only will it protect them, but if you store your transparencies in a folder or notebook, the paper between individual sheets will make it easier to see what's on an individual transparency before putting it on the projector.


Use a hole puncher to keep your transparencies in a notebook. This keeps them in order of use and makes them easy to store and readily accessible.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a hole puncher to keep your transparencies in a notebook. This keeps them in order of use and makes them easy to store and readily accessible.

Things you need

  • Printable overhead projector sheets
  • Editing software
  • Printer

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