AbstractThe efficiency of optical brightening agents (OBAs), also known as fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs), has long been of interest in the production of uncoated fine paper, particularly in uncoated fine paper grades containing high-yield pulp (HYP). The increasing levels of whiteness and also the increasing HYP substitution in fine papers has made OBA efficiency an important issue. This paper summarizes recent research findings in understanding and enhancing OBA efficiency in fine papers containing HYP, with focus on the main factors affecting OBA efficiency in both wet end and size press application. These factors include the base sheet brightness and whiteness of the pulp, UV competitors, OBA retention, quenching effects, and OBA migration at the size press. Some new technologies to improve OBA efficiency are discussed.