In this work, a technique to enhance the porosity of electro-perforated paper webs using screening matrices is described. The proposed approach relies on the confining effect that acts on a train of sparks when forced to pass through a small hole pierced through a ceramic substrate located in-between two needle-like electrodes. It is shown how the maximum porosity level achievable by the electro-perforation process depends on the drag distance parameter. Since the proposed method is aimed at reducing the latter, an eventual enhancement of the number of perforations per unit area can be obtained. The method has been experimentally tested. It is worth mentioning the suitability of the matrix-aided paper perforation process for its use in industrial environments. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.