The Grand Table of Paper Sizes

DIN/ISO A format
Name| width, height(cm) | width, height(inch)

4A0  168.180   237.842   66.213   93.639
2A0  118.921   168.180   46.819   66.213
 A0   84.090   118.921   33.106   46.819
 A1   59.460    84.090   23.410   33.106
 A2   42.045    59.460   16.553   23.410
 A3   29.730    42.045   11.705   16.553
 A4   21.022    29.730    8.277   11.705
 A5   14.865    21.022    5.852    8.277
 A6   10.511    14.865    4.138    5.852
 A7    7.433    10.511    2.926    4.138
 A8    5.256     7.433    2.069    2.926
 A9    3.716     5.256    1.463    2.069
A10    2.628     3.716    1.035    1.463
DIN/ISO A superformat (Oversize)
A0    89.994   124.495   35.430   49.014
A1    62.512    89.994   24.661   35.430
A2    48.013    62.512   18.903   24.661
DIN/ISO B format
 B0   100.000   141.421   39.370   55.678
 B1    70.711   100.000   27.839   39.370
 B2    50.000    70.711   19.685   27.839
 B3    35.355    50.000   13.919   19.685
 B4    25.000    35.355    9.843   13.919
 B5    17.678    25.000    6.960    9.843
 B6    12.500    17.678    4.921    6.960
 B7     8.839    12.500    3.480    4.921
 B8     6.250     8.839    2.461    3.480
 B9     4.419     6.250    1.740    2.461
B10     3.125     4.419    1.230    1.740
DIN/ISO C format
 C0    91.700   129.700   36.102   51.063
 C1    64.850    91.700   25.531   36.102
 C2    45.850    64.850   18.051   25.531
 C3    32.425    45.850   12.766   18.051
 C4    22.925    32.425    9.026   12.766
 C5    16.212    22.925    6.383    9.026
 C6    11.462    16.212    4.513    6.383
 C7     8.106    11.462    3.191    4.513
 C8     5.731     8.106    2.256    3.191
 C9     4.053     5.731    1.596    2.256
C10     2.866     4.053    1.128    1.596
The allowed tolerances for DIN/ISO formats are:

±1.5 mm for dimensions up to 150 mm,
±2 mm   for dimensions > 150 mm and < 600 mm,
±3 mm   for dimensions > 600 mm.
Some national adaptations of ISO 216 specify smaller tolerances.

JIS formats (Japan)
 B1    72.800   103.000   28.661   40.551
 B2    51.500    72.800   20.276   28.661
 B3    36.400    51.500   14.331   20.276
 B4    25.700    36.400   10.118   14.331
US ANSI formats
 E1   111.760   172.720   44.000   68.000
  F    71.120   101.600   28.000   40.000
  E    86.360   111.760   34.000   44.000
  D    55.880    86.360   22.000   34.000
  C    43.180    55.880   17.000   22.000
  B    27.940    43.180   11.000   17.000
  A    21.590    27.940    8.500   11.000
US ARCH formats
  E    91.440   121.920   36.000   48.000
 E1    76.200   106.680   30.000   42.000
 E2    66.040    96.520   26.000   38.000
 E3    68.580    99.060   27.000   39.000
  D    60.960    91.440   24.000   36.000
  C    45.720    60.960   18.000   24.000
  B    30.480    45.720   12.000   18.000
  A    22.860    30.480    9.000   12.000
Other US formats
Monarch         9.842    19.050    3.875    7.500
Business       10.477    24.130    4.125    9.500
Halfletter     13.970    21.590    5.500    8.500
Statemen       13.970    21.590    5.500    8.500
Executive      18.415    26.670    7.250   10.500
Note           19.050    25.400    7.500   10.000
  Commercial   20.320    26.988    8.000   10.625
  Quarto       20.320    25.400    8.000   10.000
               21.519    27.517    8.472   10.833
  Folio        21.026    33.020    8.278   13.000
               21.590    33.020    8.500   13.000
Letter         21.590    27.940    8.500   11.000
Foolscap       21.590    33.020    8.500   13.000
Legal          21.590    35.560    8.500   14.000
Tabloid        27.940    43.180   11.000   17.000
Ledger         43.180    27.940   17.000   11.000
Dia-format2
 35mm      18.627    27.940    7.333   11.000
 PostWorks 18.000    27.000    7.087   10.623
More information can be found at Guide to International Paper Sizes, http://www.twics.com/~eds/paper/papersize.html
or at International Standard Paper Sizes by Markus Kuhn, http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/%7Emgk25/iso-paper.html

The size of ISO 216 B series paper is such that the length and width of Bn paper are the geometric means of the lengths and widths of An and An-1 paper. Since the geometric mean of products is the product of geometric means, the area also follows this relation.

JIS has a paper size system (JIS P 0138-61) very similar to ISO 216, except that B pages are a different size. In JIS, the area of Bn paper is the arithmetic mean of the areas of An and An-1 paper; B0 is 1030 × 1456 mm.

The U.S. engineering system has sizes A = 11 × 8.5 inches, B = 17 × 11 inches, up to E = 44 × 34 inches. The proportions alternate between approximately 1.29:1 and approximately 1.55:1. The U.S. architectural system is similar, but starts with A = 12 × 9 inches; it thus alternates between (exactly) 4:3 and 3:2.

Paper. . . it's what's for dinner.

The history of the A4 sheet
(or: How the DIN/ISO 216 was thought out)

The DIN/ISO paper format was invented because a logical, standardized way to determine paper sizes was wanted by the printing industry.

To do this, they started off with a standard size, and decided to call it "A0" The definition of an A0 sheet was chosen as a piece of paper that was 1m2 large. The second criteria was that the paper had to be easy to handle (in other words, that it wasn't square). It is believed that the original Height/Width ratio was chosen to be sqrt(2):1, but in the final definition, a slightly different ratio was chosen. Professor Pi points out that this ratio is the silver ratio - see his node for more about this!

Ratio used in the ISO  : 1.4125
Ratio of sqrt(2):1     : 1.4142
  

In any case - the largest page size became A0 (1m2) or 840.901 * 1189.202 mm. From this size, every time the paper size goes smaller (A1,2,3 etc), the paper size was halved, by splitting the longest side in two. This (obviously) leads to all the paper sizes in the A series to have the same H:W ratio, and the difference between any paper size and the one smaller, is that the smaller one has half the area of the larger size. (see omegas excellent writeup earlier in this node for a complete table)

-30-


source: something I learnt when I worked in a printshop, logic, and omegas' w/u above this one
Credit goes to Brontosaurus and rootbeer277 for pointing out some innaccuracies in the original version of my writeup. Thanks.

The ISO paper size system is based on the metric system and is used pretty much everywhere in the world aside from the United States, which is sticking to its own system.

In the ISO system, the ratio of the length of the paper to the width is 1.4142, or the square root of 2. This means that you can put two pieces of paper side by side and instantly have a piece of paper twice as big with exactly the same proportions.

If you have a hard time grokking this as I did, imagine two pieces of paper, each piece one unit wide and square root of two units long. When you put them together, the square root of 2 side would become the width, and the two ones added together would become the length of the new piece of paper. The dimensions would be square root of 2 units by 2 units, and the ratio would again be 1 to the square root of 2. Ingenious.

ISO Papers come in three size categories: A, B, and C. Because the square root of two is involved, the dimensions for ISO Paper aren't nice round numbers (like the US letter 8.5" x 11").

Because it is metric, the size system is ultimately based on the meter: specifically, the A0 size has an area of one square meter.

As the number gets larger, the size gets smaller, so an A1 is half the size of the A0, the A2 is half the size of the A1 and so on. A4 is the closest size corresponding to the US letter size.

The B size is the geometric mean between the An and An-1 sizes, so a B1 is sized between an A0 and an A1. The B0 is between an 2A0 (see below) and an A0, so it's the square root of 2 times as big as an A0. It's used when one size is a little too big but the next size is too small. Not widely used outside of drawing or graphic work.

The C size is the fourth root of 2 times the size of the corresponding A and is generally used for envelopes. A corresponding A paper size can fit unfolded in a C sized envelope.

Of course, anyone looking at this size system would see a problem: you're on zero here, all the way down, all the way down. Where can you go from there? Where? Nowhere.

So, to describe larger paper sizes, they've has added a few other players: The awkwardly named 2A0 is twice the size of the A0, and the 4A0 is, respectively, twice the size of the 2A0.

In addition, for printers there are slightly larger sizes (RA0, RA1, etc) that add margins for binding or trimming. And there are even more slightly larger sizes (SRA0,SRA1, etc) used for bleeds.

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