Difference Between Wide Ruled and College Ruled Paper

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The primary difference between Wide Ruled and College Ruled Paper lies in the spacing between the horizontal lines on the paper. Wide-Ruled paper has a larger gap measuring 8.7mm, while College-Ruled paper has a smaller spacing of 7.1mm.

This difference in spacing can significantly impact the amount of content that can be written on a single page, the readability of the content, and even the writer’s handwriting style.

Now, let’s explore the specific characteristics of each type of ruling, their individual uses, and how to choose between them based on your specific needs.

Definition of Wide-Ruled Paper

Wide-Ruled Paper is also known as Legal-Ruled Paper. It has 11⁄32 inches (8.7 mm) spacing between horizontal lines, with a vertical margin drawn about 1+1⁄4 inches (32 mm) from the left-hand edge of the page.

It is the preferred choice for students from kindergarten up to 4th grade. As the ruled lines are 11/32 inches apart, they provide more space for children who are still learning to write letters.

Definition of College-Ruled Paper

College-Ruled Paper is also known as Medium-Ruled Paper. It has 9⁄32 in (7.1 mm) spacing between horizontal lines, with a vertical margin drawn about 1+1⁄4 inches (32 mm) from the left-hand edge of the page.

It is commonly used by middle school, high school, and college students. As the lines are closer together, they allow more writing on a single page.

Key Differences Between Wide-Ruled and College-Ruled Paper

Let’s get to know the key differences between Wide Ruled and College Ruled papers.

#1. Line Spacing

Wide-ruled paper has wider spacing between the lines, typically 11/32 inches apart, while college-ruled paper has narrower spacing, typically 9/32 inches apart.

#2. Target Audience

Wide-ruled paper is commonly used by young students in elementary school who are still learning to write letters, while the college-ruled paper is used by middle school, high school, and college students who need more space to write notes.

#3. Line Width

Wide-ruled paper has thicker lines, while college-ruled paper has thinner lines.

#4. Purpose

Wide-ruled paper is used for general writing and drawing, while college-ruled paper is used for more formal writing and note-taking.

#5. Line Style

Wide-ruled paper has a simple line style, while college-ruled paper has a more complex one.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wide-Ruled Paper

Now, let’s move on to the advantages and disadvantages of Wide Ruled Paper.


Wide Ruled Paper provides ample space for larger handwriting and for younger students who are still mastering their penmanship. It can also be easier on the eyes due to the wider spacing.


The wide spacing of Wide Ruled Paper can lead to wastage of space if your handwriting is small. It requires more paper for the same amount of text.

Advantages and Disadvantages of College-Ruled Paper

Next, we have some advantages and disadvantages of College Ruled Paper.


College Ruled Paper allows for more lines of text per page than wide-ruled paper. This can be a great advantage for note-taking in academic or professional settings.


The drawbacks of College Ruled Paper include possible difficulties for those with larger handwriting or visual impairments. The narrower lines can make writing neatly a challenge if your handwriting is larger.

Factors to Consider when Choosing between Wide-Ruled and College-Ruled Paper

Your choice between Wide Ruled and College Ruled Paper can be influenced by several factors:

1. Handwriting Size

If you have larger handwriting, wide-ruled paper might be the better choice for you. The wider lines provide more space for each letter, making your writing more legible.

On the other hand, if your handwriting is on the smaller side, you might find college-ruled paper to be more suitable. The narrower lines can accommodate small letters without wasting space.

2. Purpose of Use

Wide Ruled Paper is often used by younger students who are still developing their handwriting skills. The extra space between lines helps them form letters and words more easily.

On the other hand, college-ruled papers are more common in high school and college settings where more notes need to be taken on a single page.

3. Personal Preference

Choosing the right ruled paper isn’t just about practicality, it also comes down to personal preference. Some people simply feel more comfortable writing on Wide Ruled Paper, while others prefer the compact lines of College Ruled Paper.

Ultimately, the choice between wide-ruled and college-ruled paper often boils down to what feels best for you.


I think you got the answer. So, next time you choose between Wide Ruled and College Ruled Paper, remember the key differences between both. Also, consider the above-mentioned factors.

Remember, the “ideal handwriting size for college ruled paper” is generally smaller, while the “ideal use of wide ruled paper” is for larger handwriting or for teaching young students how to write.

In the end, “personal preference in paper rulings” plays a significant role. You might prefer one over the other based on your writing style, the purpose of the writing, or even the aesthetic appeal.

So, the choice is ultimately yours. Pick the one that best suits your needs and enhances your writing experience.

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