What is the Difference Between Quad Paper vs Graph Paper? 7 Types of Graph Paper and 10 Types of Quad Paper
Confusion may arise in some cases among customers when they are shopping for graph notebooks or grid pads. Somebody who is not familiar with the specifications of each type of paper may buy a 4×4 quad paper when they are actually looking for 10×10 quad paper for their engineering assignments and plots. This happens quite often, especially when there is no shop assistant or knowledgeable customer service technician to help them choose the right paper for their needs and purpose. In this regard, we are going to outline the differences between graph and quad paper, as well as the different types of each paper available.
Quad or Quadrille Paper
Quad or quadrille is a French term referring to a “small square”. Therefore when somebody is talking about quad paper, they are talking about any graph paper with square grids. There are many types of quad ruled paper with different grid sizes, but only the most popular types which are widely used by people will be discussed in this article. The origin of the first square grid paper can be traced back to the early 13 and 14th centuries. Egyptians drew sketches on grid lines formed with red dye. They were already using paper in 3100 BC, made from the papyrus reed growing along the river Nile. Square grids dating back to 1479 BC have also been found on non-paper surfaces such as stone slates and cave rocks, but rock art was the dominant form of art in Predynastic Egypt between 6000 and 3150 BC. Crude rock art from the PreDynastic era was modernized and superseded by a finer and more symmetrical art in the early Egyptian Dynastic era (3150 to 2613 BC) which also made its debut on Papyrus scrolls.Examples of artists using grid paper to draw sketches in the later early centuries include Cesare Cesariano in the drawing of Vitruvius (proportioned man) in 1521. The first known patented graph paper was produced in England by Dr Buxton in 1795. His graph paper was used by Thomas Jefferson, a famous architect who became the 3rd president of the USA. The paper was also adopted by Luke Howard, a 19th century British chemist and meteorologist credited with devising a classification system for clouds.
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So what is the difference between graph paper and quad ruled paper?
Quad paper is just another form or variation of graph paper. It’s a square grid pad. On the other hand, there are many types of graph paper which don’t have square grids. Examples of non-square grid paper includes:
- Isometric graph paper (paper with triangular grids used for 3D drawing and visualization. It has wide application in engineering and technical drawing.)
- Polar graph paper (paper with concentric circles and radial lines projecting from the centre at equal angles. Used in plotting trigonometric functions and polar equations)
- Hexagonal graph paper (paper with 6-sided polygon grids, often used in drawing molecular structures in organic chemistry. Hexagonal grids are also used in computer game maps.)
- Semi-logarithmic graph paper (paper with a linear axis and logarithmic axis on the coordinate system. Used to plot linear functions against exponential functions. An exponential (logarithmic) scale is used on one axis when there is an extremely wide data range for the attribute being plotted, this attribute may also be non-linear and infinite. An example is a population growth projection chart with population in billions plotted against the year. The year will be a horizontal linear scale, while the population growth will be a vertical logarithmic scale. In microbiology, charts depicting bacterial growth against a small increase in temperature are plotted. In nuclear physics, the radioactive decay / mass loss of an isotope is plotted against time (half-life) on semi-log graphs.)
- Log-log graph paper (paper with a logarithmic scale on both the vertical and horizontal axis.)
- Dot graph paper (Widely used in bullet journaling, this paper has invisible square grids (no lines) so what you only see are dots at the corners of the imaginary squares. The dots have a grid spacing of 5mm between them. Advocates of this type of paper say it eliminates distraction caused by lines and feints on traditional ruled paper. Dot grid notebooks are a cross between blank sketch pads and quad grid ruled notebooks. You can use them for drawing and sketching items to scale, using the dots as a reference scale. The absence of ruled lines gives the writer the flexibility to choose their own suitable line spacing. The height of your text and numbers can occupy one or more rows depending on your handwriting style and design.)
Types of Quad Ruled Graph Paper – Classification by Grid Size and System of Measurement
Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd president of the USA and an Architect by profession was a well known user of quad paper. Most of his architectural designs were drawn on quad paper. Quad paper can be classified according to the grid size as well as the system of measurement. A lot of graph paper has grids measured in the common Imperial units and Metric units. If you are working in inches, feet and yards, you should buy Imperial grid paper. If you are working in millimetres, centimetres and metres, you should be using Metric grid paper.
Big or Small Square Grids?
The pictures below show the varying size of grids for quad paper, starting with the biggest grid 1.5×1.5 inches (1 square per 1.5 inches) and ending with the smallest grid 0.1×0.1 inches (10 squares per inch).
Small Imperial Grids
For detailed work such as object cross-section details in engineering drawings, you will need paper with small grids. The commonly used grids are:
Medium size grids are also suitable for engineering drawings.
Large Imperial Grids:
For less detailed work where clear demonstrations and magnifying are necessary, you will need paper with bigger grids. The commonly used grids are listed below in ascending order, starting with the largest grid:
Small Metric Grids:
Listed in descending order starting with the smallest grid:
10×10 grid (10 squares per centimetre) – 1mm grid paper
5×5 grid (5 squares per centimetre) – 2mm grid paper
4×4 grid (4 squares per centimetre) – 2.5mm grid paper
Large Metric Grids:
Listed in ascending order starting with the biggest grid:
0.33×0.33 grid (1 square per 3 centimetres or 0.33 squares per centimetre) – 30mm grid paper
0.5×0.5 grid (1 square per 2 centimetres or 0.5 squares per centimetre) – 20mm grid paper
1×1 grid (1 square per centimetre) – 10mm grid paper
2×2 grid (2 squares per centimetre) – 5mm grid paper
Cartesian Graph Paper
Graph paper with square grids can be used as a Cartesian graph paper. All you need to do is draw the X and Y Cartesian coordinate axis along the horizontal and vertical planes respectively.
Grid Paper with Bold Lines
When you are sketching graphs and curves on paper with feints, it’s difficult to count the lines along the axis because there are no bold lines separating a block of grids. Let’s take a 5×5 grid for example. This paper has 5 squares per inch. To assist in counting the lines or squares along the axis, bold lines are drawn every 5th line or square, in the vertical and horizontal directions. A single block with bolded borders will contain 25 squares/grids with feint lines (5×5=25).
Where the bold lines are drawn is determined by the number of squares per inch or centimetre for that graph paper. If you are using an 8×8 grid, the bold lines are drawn every 8th line or square along the X and Y axis. A 10×10 grid will require bold lines every 10th line. A 4×4 grid will need bold lines every 4th line, and so on.
Metric Grid Paper
On metric grid paper, squares are counted for every centimetre along the X and Y axis. The grid sizes are listed in descending order starting with the smallest grid:
1mm Graph Paper (Millimeter Paper)
Vertical and horizontal lines at 1mm apart. Has 10 squares per centimetre, widely used for detailed technical drawings.
2mm Grid Paper
Vertical and horizontal lines at 2mm apart. 5×5 grid (5 squares per centimetre) – 2mm grid paper
2.5mm Grid Paper
Vertical and horizontal lines at 2.5mm apart. 4×4 grid (4 squares per centimetre) – 2.5mm grid paper
5mm (0.5cm Grid paper)
Vertical and horizontal lines at 0.5cm apart.
10mm Graph Paper (Centimeter Graph Paper )
Vertical and horizontal lines at 1cm apart
15mm (1.5cm Grid paper)
Vertical and horizontal lines at 1.5cm apart.
20mm Grid Paper
Vertical and horizontal lines at 20mm apart. 0.5×0.5 grid (1 square per 2 centimetres or 0.5 squares per centimetre) – 20mm grid paper
30mm Grid Paper
Vertical and horizontal lines at 30mm apart. 0.33×0.33 grid (1 square per 3 centimetres or 0.33 squares per centimetre) – 30mm grid paper
Imperial Grid Paper
On imperial grid paper, squares are counted for every inch along the X and Y axis. The grid sizes are listed in ascending order starting with the largest grid:
1 inch Graph paper
Has 1 line per inch (1 square per inch). Grids are 1 inch squares. Has much larger squares which are useful for classroom demonstrations and teaching where large print and clarity is required.
½ inch Graph paper (0.5 inch paper)
Has 2 lines per inch (2 squares per inch). Grids are ½ inch squares.
¼ inch Graph paper (0.25 inch paper)
Has 4 lines per inch (4 squares per inch). Grids are ¼ inch squares.
⅕ inch Graph paper (0.20 inch paper)
Has 5 lines per inch (5 squares per inch). Grids are ⅕ inch squares.
1/10 inch Graph paper (0.10 inch paper)
Has 10 lines per inch (10 squares per inch). Grids are 1/10 inch squares. Has the smallest squares, useful for detailing drawing in engineering and other applications.