|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2010)|
|4.2300×10−3 m||4.23000 mm|
|US customary units (Imperial units)|
|13.878×10−3 ft||0.166535 in|
The pica originated around 1785, when François-Ambroise "L'éclat" Didot (1730–1804) refined the typographic measures system created by Pierre Simon Fournier le Jeune (1712–1768). He replaced the traditional measures of cicéro, Petit-Roman, and Gros-Text with "ten-point", "twelve-point", etc.
To date, in printing these three pica measures are used:
- The French pica of 12 Didot points (also called cicéro) generally is: 12 × 0.376 = 4.512 mm (0.177 in).
- The American pica measure of 0.013837 ft. (1⁄72.27 ft). Thus, a pica is 0.166044 in. (4.2175 mm)
- The contemporary computer pica is 1⁄72 of the International foot of 1959, i.e. 4.233 mm or 0.166 in.
Note that these definitions are different from a typewriter's pica setting, which denotes a type size of ten characters per horizontal inch.
Usually, pica measurements are represented with an upper-case "P" with an upper-right-to-lower-left virgule (slash) starting in the upper right portion of the "P" and ending at the lower left of the upright portion of the "P"; essentially drawing a virgule ( / ) through a "P". (P̸) Likewise, points are represented with number of points before a lower-case "p", for example, 5p represents "5 points", and 6P̸2p represents "6 picas and 2 points", and 1P̸1 represents "13 points", which is converted to a mixed fraction of 1 pica and 1 point.
Publishing applications such as Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress represent pica measurements with whole-number picas left of a lower-case "p", followed by the points number, for example: 5p6, represents 5 picas and 6 points, or 5½ picas.
- "Syntax and basic data types". W3.org. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
- Bringhurst, Robert (1999). The Elements of Typographic Style (Second ed.). H&M Publishers. pp. 294–295. ISBN 0881791326.
- Pasko, W. W. (1894). American Dictionary of Printing and Bookmaking. H. Lockwood. p. 436.