With all of our tech tools today, there are still a few whose utility has not been superseded by digital aids. What’s better than a fresh sheet of graph paper to help inspire you to create mankind’s next big breakthrough, whether or not you’ve found funding? Online graph paper has the advantage of not having to sit in your drawer for years until you need it, and the range of easy-to-print patterns is much larger than anyone would ever want to keep on hand.
Digital Media Minute did an enthusiastic post a few years ago regarding free online graph paper; I thought it might be helpful to update the situation in the form of a short list of providers of online graph paper generator.
1) The subject of our original post was Incompetech and their really impressive variety of digital graph paper patterns, which seems to have expanded since we last reviewed them. Simply browse through the thumbnails of almost 50 basic patterns, choose one that fits the task at hand, and then the fun really begins. You’ll click through to a page where you select your PDF document size (or specify your own custom dimensions), your line or dot weight, a border distance value, grid spacing, grid color, and any other aspects of the particular pattern that you’ve chosen. Man, talk about quick and easy! Don’t think it’s just the standard simple square pattern graph paper either. Octagonal, Semi-bisected Trapezoid, Circular-Grid Pattern, Guitar Fretboard Diagrams, Storyboards, Chinese & Japanese Character Guide Paper, and a whole lot more. Incompetech sets the bar high.
2) Print Free Graph Paper gets good marks for the beautiful simplicity of its one-page site. While the pattern choices are not as comprehensive as other sites, there is no navigation to be done other than choosing your graph paper specs from four menu buttons. Eight graph paper patterns are offered, along with an explanation of each, and a thumbnail is shown before you print your PDF.
3) Waterproof-Paper is a site that offers all sorts of waterproof bags and cases, as well as a fairly large selection of graph paper PDFs available for free download. I don’t see the connection either, but there are about 25 different patterns from which to choose.
4) The graphically pleasant Math Bits site offers some great math graph papers such as trigonometric patterns and polar graph papers in addition to the standard rectangular and dot graph paper.
5) Mathsphere is another site that gets high marks for simplicity–just hit the link to open or download your PDF. The downside is that you apparently can’t vary any of the specs for any of the graph papers. Still, very fast to use.