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Weight Calculator

You may want to know how much your printed piece will weigh during the planning stage. Frequently this is to estimate postage for a direct mail piece. In fact, you can determine the exact postage for an entire mailing in advance. You need an accurate copy of the mailing list, the weight of the piece and the class at which it will be mailed. Armed with these, a mailer can tell you exactly what the postage will be.

Paper is a commodity
Paper is a sold by the pound, just like meat, corn and other commodities. Therefore paper is manufactured to specific basis weights. Click here for more information on basis weights. If you know the basis weight and the square inches you can figure out the weight of the finished piece. The charts below are a calculation of the weight in ounces per square inch basis for various papers.

How to use the chart
Use the chart below to calculate the weight of a printed piece. In order to use this you need to know the type of stock and basis weight. For instance, the paper could be 50# offset, 70# gloss or 80# cover. Click here for more information on paper types.

You also need to know the total square inches of paper in the job. For instance, an 8 ½ X 11 sheet of paper is 93.5 square inches of paper. An 11 X 17 sheet would be 187 square inches.

Simply find the weight per square inch associated with the type of paper you're using. Calculate the total square inches of your piece and multiply it by the weight per square inch listed in the chart.
*Some papers are measured in thickness, not weight. We've listed average weights for these papers. Check with your printer for an exact weight.

A few examples
  • An 8 ½ X 11 sell sheet printed on 80# gloss text: The total square inches are 8.5 X 11 = 93.5. Multiply this by .00236 ounces per square inch and you end up with .2207 ounces.
  • A brochure printed on 80# gloss cover with a flat size of 11 X 25 ½. The total square inches are 11 X 25.5 = 280.5. The weight from the chart is .00492 ounces per square inch. The weight is therefore: 280.5 X .00492 = 1.38 ounces.
  • An 8-page plus cover price list with a finished size of 8 ½ X 11. The interior is on 60# gloss text and the cover on 60# gloss cover. Each four-page spread has a flat size of 11 X 17. The interior is two four-page spreads or 374 square inches. The weight of the interior is calculated as such: 374 X .00202 or .755 ounces. The cover is only one 11 X 17 so the calculation is 187 X .00369 or .69 ounces. The total weight of the price list is .755 + .69 = 1.445 ounces.

Notes about paper and using the chart
  • Paper weighs the same regardless of finish; 70# uncoated offset weighs the same as 70# coated gloss text or a 70# text sheet with a felt finish. 
  • Text sheets weigh the same as bond papers. 50# offset weighs the same as 24# bond. The equivalents are shown below.
  • Paper is manufactured to a tolerance of +/- 5%. If the weight you calculate is close to an important level ask your printer for a dummy of the piece. She should be able to give you one constructed from the actual paper that will be used for the job.
  • Don't worry about the weight of ink or staples. If the weight you calculate is close to an important level please get a dummy from your printer for an accurate weight.

Book, text weight papers & bond
Weight per square inch
50# offset or text/20# bond
.00168 ounces/square inch
60# offset or text/24# bond
.00202 ounces/square inch
70# offset or text/28# bond
.00236 ounces/square inch
80# offset or text/32# bond
.00269 ounces/square inch
100# offset
.00337 ounces/square inch
105# or 7 pt. reply card*
.00353 ounces/square inch
Cover papers
Weight per square inch
60# Cover
.00369 ounces/square inch
80# cover
.00492 ounces/square inch
100# cover
.00615 ounces/square inch
8 pt. C1S*
.004 ounces/square inch
10 pt C1S*
.0047 ounces/square inch
12 pt. C1S
.0055 ounces/square inch
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