AbstractThe application of fillers at the surface of cellulosic paper is an interesting and industrially-commercialized but not very well-known concept, in which the filler particles are essentially added to the voids of the fibrous matrixes. This so-called “surface filling” can be achieved by the use of fillers together with a polymer solution via film press or size press, an approach that is distinct from both wet-end filling and conventional coating of paper. As an easily practicable process, surface filling has some advantages over direct wet-end addition of fillers, such as minimizing the adverse effects of filler addition on paper strength. Efficient surface filling is somewhat dependent on the specific characteristics of both fillers and fibrous matrixes. Surface filling may provide interesting possibilities for the papermaking discipline; for example, it would open the door to maximizing the cost-effectiveness of paper mills, and efficiently adding new functionalities to cellulosic paper. From both practical and fundamental points of view, systematic exploration and understanding of surface filling of cellulosic paper would be of great significance to the papermaking industry.