Medical charts and legal documents are often stored in vertical notebooks that require the documents have two holes punched along the top edges. In addition, ringed clipboards also require documents to have two holes punched at the top. Office workers use a two-hole paper punch on the documents, and it is important that the two holes be centered precisely on each page so that all the pages in a notebook or on a clipboard line up properly. Most two-hole paper punches have a ruled document guide that slides back and forth to help workers position the holes in the center of the page.

Things You Will Need
  • Two-hole paper punch

  • Documents

Measure the width of the documents you wish to punch the holes in. Make sure to measure the shorter side of the page, which is usually the top of the paper.

Position the ruled, sliding document guide on the desktop paper punch according to the measurement of your documents. For example, if your pages are 8 1/2 inches long at the shortest side, pull the end of the sliding document guide away from the paper punch so that the ruler's measurement corresponds to the size of the paper.

Test the settings. Insert the documents into the paper punch, press down on the paper punch handle and remove the pages to see the holes. Put them in a two-ring binder or on a two-ring clipboard to make sure they are centered. Usually the holes are 1/4 inch in diameter and they measure 2 3/4 inches apart if you measure them from their centers.


Most three-hole paper punches, as well as those that punch more holes, can be adjusted to punch two holes. You would need to disable unwanted die cutters according to the design of the paper punch, and position only two of the cutters for your needs. These types of paper punches usually also have a ruled document guide that you can use to adjust for the size of document paper that you have.


The cutting mechanism in two-hole paper punches, and other punches as well, are very sharp. Keep fingers away from the cutters and hinges to avoid injury. In addition, keep paper punches out of the hands of children.