Paper size

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Royal octavo)
Jump to: navigation, search
For sizing as the ingredient used in papermaking, see Sizing § Papermaking.
A size chart illustrating the ISO A series and a comparison with American letter and legal formats.
Comparison of some paper and photographic paper sizes close to the A4 size.

Many paper size standards conventions have existed at different times and in different countries. Today, the A and B series of ISO 216, which includes the popular A4 size, are the international standard used by almost every country. The only exceptions are United States and Canada, where 'Letter' is more prevalent. Paper sizes affect writing paper, stationery, cards, and some printed documents. The international standard for envelopes is the C series of ISO 269.

International paper sizes[edit]

Main article: ISO 216
See Switching costs, Network effects and Standardization for possible reasons for differing regional adoption rates of the ISO standard sizes.

The international paper size standard is ISO 216. It is based on the German DIN 476 standard for paper sizes. ISO paper sizes are all based on a single aspect ratio of square root of 2, or approximately 1:1.4142. There are different series, as well as several extensions.

A series[edit]

A size chart illustrating the ISO A series.

The base A0 size of paper is defined as having an area of 1 m2. Rounded to the nearest millimetre, the A0 paper size is 841 by 1,189 millimetres (33.1 in × 46.8 in).

Successive paper sizes in the series A1, A2, A3, and so forth, are defined by halving the preceding paper size across the larger dimension. This also effectively halves the area of each sheet. The most frequently used paper size is A4 measuring 210 by 297 millimetres (8.27 in × 11.7 in).

The significant advantage of this system is its scaling: if a sheet with an aspect ratio of 2 is divided into two equal halves parallel to its shortest sides, then the halves will again have an aspect ratio of 2. Folded brochures of any size can be made by using sheets of the next larger size, e.g. A4 sheets are folded to make A5 brochures. The system allows scaling without compromising the aspect ratio from one size to another—as provided by office photocopiers, e.g. enlarging A4 to A3 or reducing A3 to A4. Similarly, two sheets of A4 can be scaled down and fit exactly 1 sheet without any cutoff or margins.

The behavior of the aspect ratio is easily proven: on a sheet of paper, let a be the long side and b be the short side; thus, a/b = 2. When the sheet of paper is folded in half widthwise, let c be the length of the new short side: c = a/2. If we take the ratio of the newly folded paper we have:

Therefore, the aspect ratio is preserved for the new dimensions of the folded paper.

Weights are easy to calculate as well: a standard A4 sheet made from 80 g/m2 paper weighs 5 g (as it is 116 of an A0 page, measuring 1 m2), allowing one to easily compute the weight—and associated postage rate—by counting the number of sheets used.

The advantages of basing a paper size upon an aspect ratio of 2 were first noted in 1786 by the German scientist and philosopher Georg Christoph Lichtenberg.[1] The formats that became A2, A3, B3, B4 and B5 were developed in France on proposition of the mathematician Lazare Carnot and published for judiciary purpose in 1798 during the French Revolution.[2] Early in the 20th century, Dr Walter Porstmann turned Lichtenberg's idea into a proper system of different paper sizes. Porstmann's system was introduced as a DIN standard (DIN 476) in Germany in 1922, replacing a vast variety of other paper formats. Even today, the paper sizes are called "DIN A4" (IPA: [diːn.ʔaː.fiːɐ̯]) in everyday use in Germany and Austria.

The DIN 476 standard spread quickly to other countries. Before the outbreak of World War II, it had been adopted by the following countries:

During World War II, the standard was adopted by Uruguay (1942), Argentina (1943) and Brazil (1943), and afterwards spread to other countries:

By 1975, so many countries were using the German system that it was established as an ISO standard, as well as the official United Nations document format. By 1977, A4 was the standard letter format in 88 of 148 countries. Today the standard has been adopted by all countries in the world except the United States and Canada. In Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, and the Philippines, the US letter format is still in common use, despite their official adoption of the ISO standard.

B series[edit]

A size chart illustrating the ISO B series.

In addition to the A series, there is a less common B series. The area of B series sheets is the geometric mean of successive A series sheets. So, B1 is between A0 and A1 in size, with an area of 0.707 m2 (12 m2). As a result, B0 is 1 metre wide, and other sizes in the B series are a half, a quarter or further fractions of a metre wide. While less common in office use, it is used for a variety of special situations. Many posters use B-series paper or a close approximation, such as 50 cm × 70 cm; B5 is a relatively common choice for books. The B series is also used for envelopes and passports. The B-series is widely used in the printing industry to describe both paper sizes and printing press sizes, including digital presses. B3 paper is used to print two US letter or A4 pages side by side using imposition; four pages would be printed on B2, eight on B1, etc.

C series[edit]

A size chart illustrating the ISO C series.

The C series is usually used for envelopes and is defined in ISO 269. The area of C series sheets is the geometric mean of the areas of the A and B series sheets of the same number; for instance, the area of a C4 sheet is the geometric mean of the areas of an A4 sheet and a B4 sheet. This means that C4 is slightly larger than A4, and slightly smaller than B4. The practical usage of this is that a letter written on A4 paper fits inside a C4 envelope, and C4 paper fits inside a B4 envelope.

Some envelope formats with mixed sides from adjacent sizes (and thus an approximate aspect ratio of 2:1) are also defined in national adaptations of the ISO standard, e.g. DIN C6/C5 is 114 mm × 229 mm where the common side to C5 and C6 is 162 mm.

Overview: ISO paper sizes[edit]

ISO paper sizes in portrait view (with rounded inch values)
Format A series[3] B series[4] C series[5]
Size mm × mm in × in mm × mm in × in mm × mm in × in
0 841 × 1189 33.1 × 46.8 1000 × 1414 39.4 × 55.7 917 × 1297 36.1 × 51.1
1 594 × 841 23.4 × 33.1 707 × 1000 27.8 × 39.4 648 × 917 25.5 × 36.1
2 420 × 594 16.5 × 23.4 500 × 707 19.7 × 27.8 458 × 648 18.0 × 25.5
3 297 × 420 11.7 × 16.5 353 × 500 13.9 × 19.7 324 × 458 12.8 × 18.0
4 210 × 297 8.27 × 11.7 250 × 353 9.84 × 13.9 229 × 324 9.02 × 12.8
5 148 × 210 5.83 × 8.27 176 × 250 6.93 × 9.84 162 × 229 6.38 × 9.02
6 105 × 148 4.13 × 5.83 125 × 176 4.92 × 6.93 114 × 162 4.49 × 6.38
7 74 × 105 2.91 × 4.13 88 × 125 3.46 × 4.92 81 × 114 3.19 × 4.49
8 52 × 74 2.05 × 2.91 62 × 88 2.44 × 3.46 57 × 81 2.24 × 3.19
9 37 × 52 1.46 × 2.05 44 × 62 1.73 × 2.44 40 × 57 1.57 × 2.24
10 26 × 37 1.02 × 1.46 31 × 44 1.22 × 1.73 28 × 40 1.10 × 1.57

The tolerances specified in the standard are

  • ±1.5 mm (0.06 in) for dimensions up to 150 mm (5.9 in),
  • ±2 mm (0.08 in) for lengths in the range 150 to 600 mm (5.9 to 23.6 in) and
  • ±3 mm (0.12 in) for any dimension above 600 mm (23.6 in).

German extensions[edit]

The German standard DIN 476 was published in 1922 and is the original specification of the A and B sizes. It differs in two details from its international successor:

DIN 476 provides for formats larger than A0, denoted by a prefix factor. In particular, it lists the formats 2A0 and 4A0, which are twice and four times the size of A0 respectively:

DIN 476 overformats
Name mm × mm in × in
4A0 1682 × 2378 66.22 × 93.62
2A0 1189 × 1682 46.81 × 66.22

However, ISO 216:2007 notes 2A0 and 4A0 in the table of Main series of trimmed sizes (ISO A series) as well: "The rarely used sizes [2A0 and 4A0] which follow also belong to this series."

DIN 476 also specifies slightly tighter tolerances:

  • ±1 mm (0.04 in) for dimensions up to 150 mm (5.9 in),
  • ±1.5 mm (0.06 in) for lengths in the range 150 mm to 600 mm (5.9 to 23.6 in) and
  • ±2 mm (0.08 in) for any dimension above 600 mm (23.6 in).

Swedish extensions[edit]

Comparison of ISO 216 and Swedish standard SIS 014711 paper sizes between A4 and A3 sizes.

The Swedish standard SS 014711[6] generalized the ISO system of A, B, and C formats by adding D, E, F, and G formats to it. Its D format sits between a B format and the next larger A format (just like C sits between A and the next larger B). The remaining formats fit in between all these formats, such that the sequence of formats A4, E4, C4, G4, B4, F4, D4, H4, A3 is a geometric progression, in which the dimensions grow by a factor 162 from one size to the next. However, the SIS 014711 standard does not define any size between a D format and the next larger A format (called H in the previous example). Of these additional formats, G5 (169 × 239 mm) and E5 (155 × 220 mm) are popular in Sweden and the Netherlands for printing dissertations,[7] but the other formats have not turned out to be particularly useful in practice and they have not been adopted internationally.

SIS 014711 formulas,[8] including hypothetical H series, n = 0…9, r = 82, s = 12
Designation Longer edge Shorter edge
(Hn) r+5½ × sn r+1½ × sn
Dn r+5 × sn r+1 × sn
Fn r+4½ × sn r × sn
Bn r+4 × sn r 0 × sn
Gn r+3½ × sn r−½ × sn
Cn r+3 × sn r−1 × sn
En r+2½ × sn r−1½ × sn
An r+2 × sn r−2 × sn

Japanese B-series variant[edit]

The JIS defines two main series of paper sizes. The JIS A-series is identical to the ISO A-series, but with slightly different tolerances. The area of B-series paper is 1.5 times that of the corresponding A-paper (instead of the factor 2 = 1.414... for the ISO B-series), so the length ratio is approximately 1.22 times the length of the corresponding A-series paper. The aspect ratio of the paper is the same as for A-series paper. Both A- and B-series paper is widely available in Japan, Taiwan and China, and most photocopiers are loaded with at least A4 and either one of A3, B4 and B5 paper.

There are also a number of traditional paper sizes, which are now used mostly by printers. The most common of these old series are the Shiroku-ban and the Kiku paper sizes.

JIS paper sizes (plus rounded inch values)
Format B series Shiroku ban Kiku
Size mm × mm in × in mm × mm in × in mm × mm in × in
0 1030 × 1456 40.55 × 57.32
1 728 × 1030 28.66 × 40.55
2 515 × 728 20.28 × 28.66
3 364 × 515 14.33 × 20.28
4 257 × 364 10.12 × 14.33 264 × 379 10.39 × 14.92 227 × 306 8.94 × 12.05
5 182 × 257 7.17 × 10.12 189 × 262 7.44 × 10.31 151 × 227 5.94 × 8.94
6 128 × 182 5.04 × 7.17 127 × 188 5.00 × 7.40
7 91 × 128 3.58 × 5.04
8 64 × 91 2.52 × 3.58
9 45 × 64 1.77 × 2.52
10 32 × 45 1.26 × 1.77
11 22 × 32 0.87 × 1.26
12 16 × 22 0.63 × 0.87

North American paper sizes[edit]

Loose sizes[edit]

North American paper sizes
Size in × in mm × mm Aspect ratio
Letter 8 12 × 11 216 × 279 1.2941…
Legal 8 12 × 14 216 × 356 1.6470…
Tabloid 11 × 17 279 × 432 1.54
Ledger[9] 17 × 11 432 × 279 0.6470…
Junior Legal 5 × 8 127 × 203 1.6
Half Letter, Memo 5 12 × 8 12 140 × 216 1.54
Government Letter 8 × 10 12 203 × 267 1.3125
Government Legal 8 12 × 13 216 × 330 1.5294…

The United States, Canada and Mexico use a different system of paper sizes compared to the rest of the world. The current standard sizes are unique to that continent, although due to the size of the North American market and proliferation of both software and printing hardware from the region, other parts of the world have become increasingly familiar with these sizes (though not necessarily the paper itself). The traditional North American inch-based sizes differ from those described below.

Common loose sizes[edit]

Letter, Legal and Ledger/Tabloid are by far the most commonly used of these for everyday activities, and the only ones included in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

The origins of the exact dimensions of Letter size paper (8 12 in × 11 in or 216 mm × 279 mm) are lost in tradition and not well documented. The American Forest and Paper Association argues that the dimension originates from the days of manual paper making, and that the 11-inch length of the page is about a quarter of "the average maximum stretch of an experienced vatman's arms."[10] However, this does not explain the width or aspect ratio.

Outside of North America, Letter size may also be known as "American Quarto".[11] If one accepts some trimming, the size is indeed one quarter of the old Imperial paper size known as Demy, 17 12 in × 22 12 in (444 mm × 572 mm).[12]

Usage and adoption[edit]

Colombian inch-based paper sizes[need quotation to verify]
Size Equivalent mm × mm in × in Ratio
Carta Letter, ANSI A 216 × 279 8½ × 11 1.2916
Oficio Government Legal 216 × 330 8½ × 13 1.527
Extra Tabloide Arch B 305 × 457 12 × 18 1.5

US paper sizes are currently standard in the United States and at least in the Philippines, Colombia and Chile. The latter use US Letter, but their Legal size is 8 12 in × 13 in (216 mm × 330 mm).[13]

Mexico and Colombia have adopted the ISO standard, but US Letter format is still the system in use throughout the country. It is virtually impossible to encounter ISO standard papers in day-to-day uses, with "Carta 216 mm × 279 mm" (Letter), "Oficio 216 mm × 340 mm" (Government-Legal) and "Doble carta" (Ledger/Tabloid) being nearly universal. US sizes are also widespread and in common use in Colombia and some other American countries.[14]

In Canada, US paper sizes are a de facto standard. The government, however, also uses ISO paper sizes.

Variant loose sizes[edit]

There is an additional paper size, 8 in × 10 12 in (203 mm × 267 mm), to which the name Government-Letter was given by the IEEE Printer Working Group (PWG). It was prescribed by Herbert Hoover when he was Secretary of Commerce to be used for US government forms, apparently to enable discounts from the purchase of paper for schools, but more likely due to the standard use of trimming books (after binding) and paper from the standard letter size paper to produce consistency and allow "bleed" printing. In later years, as photocopy machines proliferated, citizens wanted to make photocopies of the forms, but the machines did not generally have this size paper in their bins. Ronald Reagan therefore had the US government switch to regular Letter size, which is both half an inch longer and wider.[10] The former government size is still commonly used in spiral-bound notebooks, for children's writing and the like, a result of trimming from the current Letter dimensions.

By extension of the American standards, the halved Letter size, 5 12 in × 8 in (140 mm × 203 mm), meets the needs of many applications. It is variably known as Statement, Stationery, Memo, Half Letter, Half A (from ANSI sizes) or simply Half Size. Like the similar-sized ISO A5, it is used for everything from personal letter writing to official aeronautical maps. Organizers, notepads, and diaries also often use this size of paper; thus 3-ring binders are also available in this size. Booklets of this size are created using word processing tools with landscape printing in two columns on letter paper which are then cut or folded into the final size.

Standardized American paper sizes[edit]

A size chart illustrating the ANSI sizes.

In 1996, the American National Standards Institute adopted ANSI/ASME Y14.1 which defined a regular series of paper sizes based upon the de facto standard 8 12 in × 11 in (216 mm × 279 mm) Letter size which it assigned "ANSI A", intended for technical drawings, hence sometimes labeled "Engineering". This series is somewhat similar to the ISO standard in that cutting a sheet in half would produce two sheets of the next smaller size and therefore also includes Ledger/Tabloid as "ANSI B". Unlike the ISO standard, however, the arbitrary base sides forces this series to have two alternating aspect ratios. For example, ANSI A is less elongated than A4, while ANSI B is more elongated than A3. The Canadian standard CAN 2-9.60M "Paper Sizes for Correspondence" specifies P1 through P6 paper sizes, which are the ANSI paper sizes rounded to the nearest 5 mm.[15]

With care, documents can be prepared so that the text and images fit on either ANSI or their equivalent ISO sheets at 1:1 reproduction scale.

ANSI and CAN paper sizes
US size in × in mm × mm Ratio Canadian size (mm × mm) Similar size (mm × mm)
N/A CAN P6 107 × 140 ISO A6 105 × 148
N/A CAN P5 140 × 215 ISO A5 148 × 210
ANSI A 8 12 × 11 216 × 279 1.2941 CAN P4 215 × 280 ISO A4 210 × 297
ANSI B 11 × 17 279 × 432 1.5455 CAN P3 280 × 430 ISO A3 297 × 420
ANSI C 17 × 22 432 × 559 1.2941 CAN P2 430 × 560 ISO A2 420 × 594
ANSI D 22 × 34 559 × 864 1.5455 CAN P1 560 × 860 ISO A1 594 × 841
ANSI E 34 × 44 864 × 1118 1.2941 N/A ISO A0 841 × 1187

Other, informal, larger sizes continuing the alphabetic series illustrated above exist, but it should be noted that they are not part of the series per se, because they do not exhibit the same aspect ratios. For example, Engineering F size is 28 in × 40 in or 711 mm × 1,016 mm with ca. 1.4286:1; it is commonly required for NAVFAC drawings, but is generally less commonly used. Engineering G size is 22 12 in (572 mm) high, but it is a roll format with a variable width up to 90 in (2,286 mm) in increments of 8 12 in (216 mm). Engineering H through N sizes are also roll formats.

Such huge sheets were at one time used for full-scale layouts of aircraft parts, automotive parts, wiring harnesses and the like, but are slowly being phased out, due to widespread use of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). Some visual arts fields also continue to use these paper formats for large-scale printouts, such as for displaying digitally painted character renderings at life-size as references for makeup artists and costume designers, or to provide an immersive landscape reference.

Architectural sizes[edit]

A size chart illustrating the Architectural sizes.

In addition to the system as listed above, there is a corresponding series of paper sizes used for architectural purposes defined in the same standard, ANSI/ASME Y14.1, which is usually abbreviated "Arch". This series also shares the property that bisecting each size produces two of the size below, with alternating aspect ratios. It may be preferred by North American architects because the aspect ratios (4:3 and 3:2) are ratios of small integers, unlike their ANSI (or ISO) counterparts. Furthermore, the aspect ratio 4:3 matches the traditional aspect ratio for computer displays.

The size Arch E1 has a different aspect ratio because it derives from adding 6 inches to each side of Arch D or subtracting the same amount from Arch E. An intermediate size between Arch C and D with a long side of 30 inches (760 mm) does not exist.

US architectural standard paper sizes[16]
Names in × in mm × mm Ratio
Arch A Arch 1 9 × 12 229 × 305 3:4
Arch B Arch 2 12 × 18 305 × 457 2:3
Arch C Arch 3 18 × 24 457 × 610 3:4
Arch D Arch 4 24 × 36 610 × 914 2:3
Arch E1 Arch 5 30 × 42 762 × 1067 5:7
Arch E Arch 6 36 × 48 914 × 1219 3:4
Arch E2[need quotation to verify] 26 × 38 660 × 965 13:19
Arch E3[need quotation to verify] 27 × 39 686 × 991 9:13

Other sizes[edit]

Assorted sizes[need quotation to verify]
Name in × in mm × mm Ratio
Organizer J 2 34 × 5 70 × 127 ≈1.8142
Marching band flip-folder 6 34 × 5 14 171 × 133 ≈1.2857
Choral Octavo 6 34 × 10 12 171 × 267 ≈1.55
Fanfold 12 × 8.5 8 12 × 12 216 × 304 ≈1.4118
US Std Fanfold 11 × 14 78 279 × 377 ≈1.3513

Notebook sizes[edit]

The sizes listed above are for paper sold loose in reams. There are many sizes of tablets of paper, that is, sheets of paper bound at one edge, usually by a strip of plastic or hardened PVA adhesive. Often there is a pad of cardboard (also known as chipboard or greyboard) at the bottom of the stack. Such a tablet serves as a portable writing surface, and the sheets often have lines printed on them, usually in non-repro blue, to make writing in a line easier. An older means of binding is to have the sheets stapled to the cardboard along the top of the tablet; there is a line of perforated holes across every page just below the top edge from which any page may be torn off. Lastly, a pad of sheets each weakly stuck with adhesive to the sheet below, trademarked as "Post-It" or "Stick-Em" and available in various sizes, serve as a sort of tablet.

"Letter pads" are 8 12 by 11 inches (215.9 by 279.4 mm), while the term "legal pad" is often used by laymen to refer to pads of various sizes including those of 8 12 by 14 inches (215.9 by 355.6 mm). There are "steno pads" (used by stenographers) of 6 by 9 inches (152.4 by 228.6 mm).

In countries where the ISO sizes are standard, most notebooks and tablets are sized to ISO specifications (for example, most newsagents in Australia stock A4 and A3 tablets).

Office sizes[edit]

US personal organizers
Company Name in × in mm × mm Holes
Filofax[17] M2 2 12 × 4 64 × 103 3 holes
Mini 2 58 × 4 18 67 × 105 5 holes
Pocket 3 16 × 4 34 81 × 120 6 holes
Personal, Slimline 3 34 × 6 34 95 × 171 6 holes
A5 148 × 210 6 holes
Deskfax (B5) 176 × 250 9 holes
A4 210 × 297 4 holes
Franklin Planner[18] Micro (⅛-Letter) 2 58 × 4 14 67 × 108
Pocket 3 12 × 6 89 × 152
Compact 4 14 × 6 34 108 × 171
Classic (½-Letter) 5 12 × 8 12 140 × 216
Monarch (Letter) 8 12 × 11 216 × 280
Jeppesen Aeronautical Chart (½-Letter) 5 12 × 8 12 140 × 216 7 holes
FAA 3 holes at top
US Index and business cards
Name in × in mm × mm Ratio
Index card 3 × 5 76 × 127 1.6
4 × 6 102 × 152 1.5
5 × 8 127 × 203 1.6
International business card 2 18 × 3.37 53.98 × 85.6 1.586
US business card 2 × 3 12 51 × 89 1.75
Japanese business card ca. 2 16 × 3 12 55 × 91 1.654
Hungarian business card ca. 2 × 3 12 50 × 90 1.8

The international business card has the same size as the smallest rectangle containing a credit card. However, credit card size, as defined in ISO/IEC 7810, also specifies rounded corners and thickness.

Photography sizes[edit]

Main article: Photo print sizes
US photographic paper sizes
Name in × in mm × mm Ratio
2R 2 12 × 3 12 64 × 89 1.4
- 3 × 5 76 × 127 1.6
LD, DSC 3 12 × 4 23 89 × 119 1.3 (4:3)
3R, L 3 12 × 5 89 × 127 ≈1.4286
LW 3 12 × 5 14 89 × 133 1.5 (3:2)
KGD 4 × 5 13 102 × 136 1.3 (4:3)
4R, KG 4 × 6 102 × 152 1.5 (3:2)
2LD, DSCW 5 × 6 23 127 × 169 1.3 (4:3)
5R, 2L 5 × 7 127 × 178 1.4
2LW 5 × 7 12 127 × 190 1.5 (3:2)
6R 6 × 8 152 × 203 1.3 (4:3)
8R, 6P 8 × 10 203 × 254 1.25
S8R, 6PW 8 × 12 203 × 305 1.5 (3:2)
11R 11 × 14 279 × 356 1.27
A3+, Super B 13 × 19 330 × 483 ≈1.46154

Postage sizes[edit]

US Postal postcard size limitations[19]
Dimension Minimum (inch) Maximum (inch)
Height 3 12 4 14
Width 5 6
Thickness 0.007 0.016

This implies that all postcards have a width:height aspect ratio in the range 1.18 to 1.71. The only ISO 216 size in the post card range is A6.

Grain[edit]

Most industry standards express the direction of the grain last when giving dimensions (that is, 17 × 11 inches is short grain paper and 11 × 17 inches is long grain paper), although alternatively the grain alignment can be explicitly indicated with an underline (11 × 17 is short grain) or the letter "M" for "machine" (11M × 17 is short grain). Grain is important because paper will crack if folded across the grain: for example, if a sheet 17 × 11 inches is to be folded to divide the sheet into two 8.5 × 11 halves, then the grain will be along the 11-inch side.[20] Paper intended to be fed into a machine that will bend the paper around rollers, such as a printing press, photocopier or typewriter, should be fed grain side first so that the axis of the rollers is along the grain.

French paper sizes[edit]

Before the adoption of the ISO standard system in 1967, France had its own paper size system. Some[which?] of these formats are still used today, and they are standardized by the AFNOR.[21] Their names come from the watermarks that the papers were branded with when they were handcrafted, which is still the case for certain art papers. They also generally exist in double versions where the smallest measure is multiplied by two, or in quadruple versions where both measures have been doubled.

AFNOR paper sizes
Name Format (cm × cm) Use
Cloche 30 × 40
Pot, écolier 31 × 40
Tellière 34 × 44 old French administration
Couronne écriture 36 × 46
Couronne édition 37 × 47
Roberto 39 × 50 anatomic drawing
Écu 40 × 52
Coquille 44 × 56
Carré 45 × 56
Cavalier 46 × 62
Demi-raisin 32,5 × 50 drawing
Raisin 50 × 65 drawing
Double raisin 65 × 100
Jésus 56 × 76 Atlas des sentiers et chemins vicinaux
Soleil 60 × 80
Colombier affiche 60 × 80
Colombier commercial 63 × 90
Petit Aigle 70 × 94
Grand Aigle 75 × 105 Plans cadastraux primitifs (Napoleonic land registry)
75 × 106[22]
75 × 110[23]
Grand Monde 90 × 126
Univers 100 × 130

Traditional inch-based paper sizes[edit]

Traditionally, a number of different sizes were defined for large sheets of paper, and paper sizes were defined by the sheet name and the number of times it had been folded. Thus a full sheet of "royal" paper was 25 × 20 inches, and "royal octavo" was this size folded three times, so as to make eight sheets, and was thus 10 × 6 14 inches.

Common divisions and their abbreviations
Name Abbr. Folds Leaves Pages
Folio fo, f 1 2 4
Quarto 4to 2 4 8
Sexto, sixmo 6to, 6mo 3 6 12
Octavo 8vo 3 8 16
Duodecimo, twelvemo 12mo 4 12 24
Sextodecimo, sixteenmo 16mo 4 16 32

Imperial sizes were used in the United Kingdom and its territories.

Imperial paper sizes
Name Classic British definitions Modern American adaptations
in × in mm × mm Ratio in × in mm × mm Ratio
Emperor 48 × 72 1219 × 1829 1.5
Quad demy 35 × 45 889 × 1143 1.2857
Antiquarian 31 × 53 787 × 1346 1.7097
Grand eagle 28 34 × 42 730 × 1067 1.4609
Double elephant 26 34 × 40 678 × 1016 1.4984
Atlas 26 × 34 660 × 864 1.3077
Colombier 23 12 × 34 12 597 × 876 1.4681
Double demy 22 12 × 35 12 572 × 902 1.57 22 12 × 35 572 × 889 1.5
Imperial 22 × 30 559 × 762 1.3636
Double large post 21 × 33 533 × 838 1.5713
Elephant 23 × 28 584 × 711 1.2174 same
Princess 21 12 × 28 546 × 711 1.3023
Cartridge 21 × 26 533 × 660 1.2381
Royal 20 × 25 508 × 635 1.25 same
Sheet, half post 19 12 × 23 12 495 × 597 1.2051
Double post 19 × 30 12 483 × 762 1.6052
Super royal 19 × 27 483 × 686 1.4203
Broadsheet 18 × 24 457 × 610 1.3
Medium 17 12 × 23 470 × 584 1.2425 18 × 23 457 × 584 1.27
Demy 17 12 × 22 12 445 × 572 1.2857 same
Copy draught 16 × 20 406 × 508 1.25
Large post 15 12 × 20 394 × 508 1.2903 16 12 × 21 419 × 533 1.27
Post 15 12 × 19 14 394 × 489 1.2419 15 12 × 19 12 394 × 489 1.2581
Crown 15 × 20 381 × 508 1.3 same
Pinched post 14 34 × 18 12 375 × 470 1.2533
Foolscap 13 12 × 17 343 × 432 1.2593
Small foolscap 13 14 × 16 12 337 × 419 1.2453
Brief 13 12 × 16 343 × 406 1.1852
Pott 12 12 × 15 318 × 381 1.2
Quarto 9 × 11 229 × 279 1.2
Executive, Monarch 7 14 × 10 12 184 × 267 1.4483

Traditional British paper sizes[edit]

These sizes are no longer commonly used since the UK switched to ISO sizes.[24] Many of these sizes were only used for making books (see bookbinding), and would never have been offered for ordinary stationery purposes.[25]

Previous British writing paper sizes
Name in × in mm × mm Ratio
Foolscap 8 × 13 203 × 330 1.625
Quarto 8 × 10 203 × 254 1.25
Imperial 7 × 9 178 × 229 1.2857
Kings 6 12 × 8 165 × 203 1.2307
Dukes 5 12 × 7 140 × 178 1.27

Foolscap folio is often referred to simply as "folio" or "foolscap". Similarly, "quarto" is more correctly "copy draught quarto" and "Kings" is an alias for "Foolscap quarto".

Demitab[edit]

The demitab or demi-tab (from the French "demi" or half tabloid) is 5 12 in × 8 12 in (140 mm × 216 mm), equal to one quarter of a sheet of 11 in × 17 in (279 mm × 432 mm) tabloid size paper. In actual circulation, the size 8 in × 10 12 in (203 mm × 267 mm) is common for a demitab.[26] Tabloid newspapers, which are "generally half the size of a broadsheet", also vary in size. To add to the lack of uniformity, broadsheets also vary in size.

Transitional paper sizes[edit]

PA4 or L4[edit]

Hypothetic PA4-based series
Name mm × mm Ratio
PA0 840 × 1120 3:4
PA1 560 × 840 2:3
PA2 420 × 560 3:4
PA3 280 × 420 2:3
PA4 210 × 280 3:4
PA5 140 × 210 2:3
PA6 105 × 140 3:4
PA7 70 × 105 2:3
PA8 52 × 70 ≈3:4
PA9 35 × 52 ≈2:3
PA10 26 × 35 ≈3:4

A transitional size called PA4 (210 mm × 280 mm or 8.27 in × 11.02 in), sometimes dubbed L4, was proposed for inclusion into the ISO 216 standard in 1975. It has the height of Canadian P4 paper (215 mm × 280 mm, about 8 12 in × 11 in) and the width of international A4 paper (210 mm × 297 mm or 8.27 in × 11.69 in), i.e. it uses the smaller value among the two for each side. The table below, shows how this format can be generalized into an entire format series.

The PA formats did not end up in ISO 216, because the committee decided that the set of standardized paper formats should be kept to the minimum necessary.[citation needed] However, PA4 remains of practical use today. In landscape orientation, it has the same 4:3 aspect ratio as the displays of traditional TV sets, some computer displays (e.g. iPad) and data projectors. PA4, with appropriate margins, is therefore a good choice as the format of presentation slides.

As a compromise between the two most popular paper sizes globally, PA4 is used today by many international magazines, because it can be printed easily on equipment designed for either A4 or US Letter. That means it is not as much a paper size than a page format.

F4[edit]

Hypothetic F4-based series
Name mm × mm in × in Ratio
F0 841 × 1321 33.1 × 52 1.5714
F1 660 × 841 26 × 33.1 1.27
F2 420 × 660 16.5 × 26 1.5714
F3 330 × 420 13 × 16.5 1.27
F4 210 × 330 8.27 × 13 1.5714
F5 165 × 210 6.5 × 8.27 1.27
F6 105 × 165 4.13 × 6 12 1.5714
F7 82 × 105 3 14 × 4.13 1.27
F8 52 × 82 2.05 × 3 14 1.5714
F9 41 × 52 3 58 × 2.05 1.27
F10 26 × 41 1.02 × 3 58 1.5714

A non-standard F4 paper size is common in Southeast Asia. It is a transitional size with the shorter side from ISO A4 (210 mm) and the longer side from British Foolscap (13 in, 330 mm) and is sometimes known as (metric) foolscap or folio as well.

A sheet of F4 can be cut from a sheet of SRA4 with very little wastage. The size is also smaller than its Swedish equivalent SIS F4 at 239 mm × 338 mm.

A0a[edit]

Although the movement is towards the international standard metric paper sizes, on the way there from the traditional ones there has been at least one new size just a little larger than that used internationally.

British architects and industrial designers once used a size called "Antiquarian", 31 in × 53 in (787 mm × 1,346 mm), as listed above, but given in the New Metric Handbook (Tutt & Adler 1981) as 813 mm × 1,372 mm (32 in × 54 in) for board size. This is a little larger than ISO A0, 841 mm × 1189 mm. So for a short time, a size called A0a of 1,000 mm × 1,370 mm (39.4 in × 53.9 in) was used in Britain, which is actually just a slightly shorter version of ISO B0 at 1414 mm.

Pliego[edit]

Colombian metric paper sizes[citation needed]
Size mm × mm aspect ratio
18 pliego 250 × 350 1.4
14 pliego 350 × 500 1.412857
12 pliego 500 × 700 1.4
Pliego 700 × 1000 1.412857

The most common paper sizes used for commercial and industrial printing in Colombia are based upon a size referred to as pliego that is ISO B1 (707 mm × 1000 mm) cut to full decimetres. Smaller sizes are derived by halving as usual and just get a vulgar fraction prefix: 12 pliego and 14 pliego.

Other metric sizes[edit]

Envelope sizes[edit]

Other DIN paper formats
Name mm × mm in × in Notes
DL 99 × 210 3.7 × 8.3 DL stands for "DIN lang" (DIN long); common flyer 13 of A4
DLE 110 × 220 4.3 × 8.7 Common envelope size as it fits an A4 sheet folded to 13 height.

Raw sizes[edit]

ISO 217 raw paper formats
Name mm × mm in × in Name mm × mm in × in
RA0 860 × 1220 33.9 × 48.0 SRA0 900 × 1280 35.4 × 50.4
RA1 610 × 860 24.0 × 33.9 SRA1 640 × 900 25.2 × 35.4
RA2 430 × 610 16.9 × 24.0 SRA2 450 × 640 17.7 × 25.2
RA3 305 × 430 12.0 × 16.9 SRA3 320 × 450 12.6 × 17.7
RA4 215 × 305 8.5 × 12.0 SRA4 225 × 320 8.9 × 12.6

Newspaper sizes[edit]

Main article: Newspaper format
Comparison of some newspaper sizes with metric paper sizes. Approximate nominal dimensions are in millimetres.

Newspapers have a separate set of sizes.

In a recent trend[27] many newspapers have been undergoing what is known as "web cut down", in which the publication is redesigned to print using a narrower (and less expensive) roll of paper. In extreme examples, some broadsheet papers are nearly as narrow as traditional tabloids.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lichtenberg's letter to Johann Beckmann". Cl.cam.ac.uk. 2006-02-07. Retrieved 2012-01-30. 
  2. ^ "Loi sur le timbre (Nº 2136)". Bulletin des lois de la République (in French). Paris: French government (237): 1–2. 1798-11-03. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  3. ^ Dimensions of A Paper Sizes - A0, A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, A9, A10
  4. ^ Dimensions of B Paper Sizes - B0, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B8, B9, B10
  5. ^ Dimensions of the C Envelope Sizes - C0, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7, C8, C9, C10
  6. ^ "Papper — Formatserier A-G". Svensk standard. Swedish Standards Institute. Retrieved 30 October 2013.  (subscription required)
  7. ^ "Print format for dissertations" (PDF). Karolinska University press. 
  8. ^ Dave Barber: International paper sizes. A, B, C and D series, version of 2012-05-08
  9. ^ Adobe Systems Incorporated (1996-02-09). "PostScript Printer Description File Format Specification" (PDF) (4.3 ed.). San Jose, California. p. 191. Retrieved 2008-03-06. [better source needed]
  10. ^ a b American Forest and Paper Association. "Why is the standard paper size in the U.S. 8½" x 11"?". Archived from the original on February 20, 2012. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  11. ^ "Junior Legal Paper Size". Dimensions Guide. Archived from the original on July 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  12. ^ Fyffe, Charles (1969). Basic Copyfitting. London: Studio Vista. p. 74. ISBN 0-289-79705-5. 
  13. ^ de Leon, Rally. "Request for inclusion of Page Size 8.5"×13"". Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  14. ^ "Armada mil". Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  15. ^ Kuhn, Markus. "International standard paper sizes". Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  16. ^ Technical drawing paper sizes in the United States at sizes.com
  17. ^ "Filofax". 
  18. ^ "Franklin Planner". 
  19. ^ United States Postal Service. "DMM 101: Physical Standards". Section "6.3.2 Postcard Dimensions". retrieved 2014-04-26.
  20. ^ "Paper Grain & Smoothness: Don't Go Against the Grain". Xerox Corp. A paper mill may indicate paper grain on carton and ream labels, product brochures, swatch books and price lists in several ways:
    1. You may see the words Grain Long or Grain Short.
    2. The dimension parallel to the grain may be underscored. For example, 8.5x11 indicates long grain, while 11x17 indicates short grain.
    3. "M" may be used to indicate machine direction, for example, 11Mx17 indicates short grain.

    Fold paper parallel to the grain direction. Paper folded against the grain may be rough and crack along the folded edge. The heavier the paper, the more likely roughness and cracking will occur.
     
  21. ^ Norme NF Q 02-000: Dimensions des papiers d’écriture et de certaines catégories de papiers d’impression.
  22. ^ CNRTL. "AIGLE: Définition de AIGLE" (in French). Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  23. ^ "L'origine des noms de papier" (in French). 
  24. ^ "Traditional sizes for writing paper in the United Kingdom". sizepaper.com (formerly atsyn.com). Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  25. ^ "Book sizes, with reference tables". 
  26. ^ "Max Image Area". Horizon Publications. 
  27. ^ "Press web". Naa.org. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]