Custom Gregg Paper on Incompetech

Gregg ruling is 1/3″ or 3 spaces to the inch, with a single margin drawn down the center of the page.

If you want to create your own custom Gregg sheets, here are the settings for two sizes (8 1/2″ x 11″ and the steno pad size 6″x 9″).  Just plug in these same numbers (though you may want to choose a different line color… I picked lavender).

 

Without the Vertical Middle Line

Incompetech’s Lined Paper

 

 

With the Vertical Middle Line

Incompetech’s Asymmetric Graph Paper

 

Based on Plays_with_Pens custom practice page (this is in portrait mode):

 


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24 comments
  1. Wikipedia is incorrect (surprise!). Gregg ruling is 3 spaces to an inch, that is 1/3". Wide ruling is 11/32". One has to be careful because I know that some brands sell "Gregg-ruled" pads with slightly more than 3 spaces to an inch: it's about a 1 mm difference, imperceptible without a ruler, but nevertheless it's a difference. Maybe printer manufacturers want to reuse the remnants of wide rule paper they have in their steno notebooks. Incidentally, I have some pads with the correct ruling (1/3") and some with incorrect ruling (11/32"), labeled “Gregg Ruled” in both cases.

    Pitman is 2 spaces to the inch (1/2″).

    1. Thanks for the clarification, Carlos!  I guess if it's off by 1 mm I won't bother to re-do them.  It was pretty tedious and quirky to work it out to get it this close.  But I went and measured the print-outs and most of them were, in fact, 3 lines to the inch.  Plays_with_Pens practice page was just a little under, and one of the 6"x 9" pages was 1 mm over, as you said.  But still close.

      The input fields on the Incompetech website are quirky to work with and take some trial and error.  Hopefully this will save someone some time if they desire to use their own paper.

      Carlos, do you have a reference for the exact spacing?  I can correct it in Wikipedia if I have a source.  I've been a contributor on Wikipedia before, though not for anything Gregg-related.

    2. Skilcraft, a major manufacturer of steno pads thinks the spacing is 11/32:

      SKILCRAFT Steno Notebook, Exec.,Gregg-Ruled,80 Sht/Pad,6"x9",12/PK,WE

      Steno notebooks offer the Gregg-method design, and each contains 80 sheets of 15 lb. paper that is elemental chlorine-free (ECF). Each sheet features vertical lines 11/32" apart with one vertical line down the center. Each spiral-bound notebook also has a durable cover. Notebooks meet CPG guidelines and Executive Orders 13514 and 13423.

      1. Like I said, some printing companies interpret Gregg ruling as wide ruling with a line in the middle, instead of the 3 lines to the inch definition. I have pads with correct and incorrect spacing, both branded as Gregg-ruled.

        1. Hmmm… I'm wondering something.  3 lines-to-the-inch is not the same as 3 spaces-to-the-inch.  3-spaces-to-the-inch is really 4-lines-to-the-inch.  Most of the Incompetech practice sheets above and the orchid Ampad steno pad I have are 3 spaces-to-the-inch.  I wonder if the Marion Lamb book reference was incorrect, if the author really meant spaces rather than lines-to-the-inch. 

          Maybe I'm overthinking this, lol.

      2. Thanks for the tip Eli,

        The trouble is that I don't want to get 12 before trying out 1.  It may be too rough, too smooth, too absorbent, too resistant ! (it depends too on the pen I use and the ink — though I have settled on that now).  Call me fussy but I've tried loads of pads and have had to use lots just for to shopping lists, for all of the above reasons.

        As a matter of usage: the pads with the central vertical ruling I find rather awkward to use.  I know they are supposed to be better for speed to reduce the hand's left-right motion, but it feels a bit 'forced' when I try.  Also, I have seen respected court reporters in history (examples I saw in some old Gregg histories) using some paper with two left margins — though they seemed (to my inexperienced eye) to have been use in, surprisingly, a rather irregular manner.

        But thanks for the detailed description.  I may risk the ~$50 expense.

        1. Court reporters start in a different column, depending on who's speaking. That way they don't have to write the name of the speaker each time.

        2. Actually, I was just pointing out that Skilcraft thinks Gregg ruling is 11/32 and not 1/3, but Carlos addressed that. I wasn't suggesting that you try out all the pads.

          I'm very particular though also about my paper (because of my side-writing left-handedness, I spent my childhood smearing ink and pushing pencil points & fine-point ballpoints through paper). So I've gone ahead and bought 7 different Steno pads to try myself: AmazonBasics, Ampad, TOPS, CVS's Caliber, Field Notes, and two different variants of the NATIONAL Brown Board cover (36646 & 36647). When all 7 of these steno pads arrive, I will test each of them out with #2 pencil, fine-tip ballpoint, medium-tip gel pen, Gregg Writer fountain pen and my Pilot Custom 823 (when I finally receive that). And I'll pick what works best for me, and then order two dozen of that (I'm a squirrel that stores acorns). I'd be happy to share with you my findings if you would like to hear my opinion (keep in mind what I said about a side-writing leftie, though).

            1. OK. Then I'll do that. (BTW, is there a limit on the size of a single post here? I'm asking because I think a review post should have pictures and they might add up in size.)

          1. I'd definitely be interested in your paper reviews.  I'm always on the look out for good paper!

  2. I read in one book which said that when Gregg was being asked about the sort of lines to use he replied something like: 'Lines! your lucky to get them.'.  Well, I know he was being a little facetious but maybe there is a hint not to take things to extremes. 

    (I started writing with a much wider spacing than 1/3", about 1/2", because I found that the outlines got less tangled up.  I don't now, now that I am better at writing.  I also cannot download writing paper as my printer uses ink that smudges when wet, and the paper quality is unpredictable — sometimes a bit like blotting paper.)

    1. So true about the lines!  I don't think many of the Gregg textbooks even showed examples of outlines on lined paper.  The only ones I can think of are Centennial and a few pages in the Notehand texts.  But there's no doubt that guidelines help with penmanship, whether it's with calligraphy or shorthand.  

    1. Grrr. Brain fog. Set grid size 25.4 /3, and 4 interlined. Also, take good notes when experimenting.

      The other sites on the page have other features, like slanted vertical lines, which also helps in Gregg.

  3. Love seeing all these variations! The screenshots make it super clear. Thanks for putting this together.

  4. I use three ‘little squares’ (15mm). It looks comfortable for my handwriting.
    I wonder where this obsession for lines comes from… 🙂

    1. It's not an obsession. It's just a clarifying a definition. Practically speaking it won't make a difference.