Abstract.: The transport of print fluids into paper is directly dependent on the imbibition characteristic of the paper including both the z-, x- and y-directions. As the measurement of free liquid imbibition into the paper thickness (z-direction) is difficult experimentally, due to the thin nature of paper, in this paper we resort to imbibition along the y-direction of paper to analyse and explore the possibility of understanding the mechanistic differences between wicking into uncoated unfilled paper versus that of controllable pigment-filled paper and paper coating. Considering the classical imbibition dynamic, the measured imbibition was characterised firstly with respect to √t and secondly with respect to linear t. It is shown that the wicking behaviour of uncoated unfilled paper follows neither the classical viscous drag balance model of Lucas-Washburn (√t) nor the more comprehensive inertia-included imbibition described by Bosanquet. However, by increasing the filler load into the surface layer of the paper, the imbibition dynamic is seen to revert to the Bosanquet model. Thus, when using highly filled papers, the imbibition dynamic for printing liquid shows a fast imbibition at the initial stages dominated by inertial plug flow, and then transits to the Lucas-Washburn viscosity-dominated imbibition component over longer time. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].