AbstractThis review article highlights progress in understanding the optical properties of paper. Paper’s appearance can be defined in terms of its opacity, brightness, color, fluorescent properties, gloss, and various quantities related to its uniformity. The phenomena that give rise to paper’s optical properties, especially its ability to scatter and absorb visible light, are highly dependent on paper’s structure and its chemical composition. In an effort to engineer low-cost products having relative high opacity and brightness, it is necessary to optimize the material selection and processing conditions. The dimensions of solid materials and void structures within the paper are key factors for optimizing the optical properties. In addition, additives including bleaching agents, mineral particles, dyes, and fluorescent whitening agents can impact paper’s optical properties Paper’s appearance depends, in subtle ways, on the processes of its manufacture.