Dimensions Of A Series Paper Sizes

Paper Size

Difference Between A4, Foolscap, Letter & Legal Paper

The will to express thoughts and to propagate them has brought humans here today. Earlier, Stone age man used to write on cave walls and leaves, but when humans developed the brain, they felt the need to share knowledge not only to the paper in their lifetime but even beyond, to save the culture and tradition. This led to the invention of Paper. Paper has been around for centuries. Today, humans use paper for a lot of things. Paper is like our lifeline. Without writing, there would be no books, articles, legal documents, newspapers, decorative paintings, etc. Since its discovery and inception, we’ve adopted paper as a part of our daily life. Even boxes and carry materials and covers are made of paper.

Paper is the primary writing material since the medieval ages. Today we’re starting to change into digital writing, but still paper hosts the vast majority of our data, knowledge, and experience in handwritten or printed formats. For such an important thing, it is essential for us to know and understand how to use it efficiently. Earlier ages faced a lot of problems because of the differing paper sizes for each task and the papers from those times continue to cause trouble for us even today regarding storage and transportation.

Just think how useful it would be if all those old books you had we’re easily scannable into your PC and resizable without having to crop parts to maintain aspect ratio. How good it would be if all those books were of similar sizes and you could store them in a row on your bookshelf. How good it would be if all the legal documents were of similar sizes and you could keep them in a folder without having to think about either of them getting folded because they’re too big or moving around because they’re too small.

This led to the Standardization of Paper Sizes. Now Paper Standards introduce by ISO 216 are in use worldwide, and it has made all of our lives easier. But still, there are some countries which always follow the earlier traditional Standards and don’t accept ISO 216. But as they are some of the first world countries, it’s essential for us to know and study their paper sizes and compare them with ours. The most common paper sizes are the A4, Letter, Legal and Foolscap. Today, we’ll talk about these.

SizeWidth x Height (mm)Width x Height (in)Area sq mArea sq ydAspect Ratio
A4210 x 297 mm8.3 x 11.7 in0.062 sq m0.074 sq yd1:1.4142
Letter216 x 279 mm8.5 x 11.0 in0.060 sq m0.072 sq yd1:1.2941
Legal216 x 356 mm8.5 x 14.0 in0.077 sq m0.092 sq yd1:1.6471
Foolscap203 x 330 mm8.0 x 13.0 in0.067 sq m0.080 sq yd1:1.625

All these paper sizes are/were most commonly in use for official purposes in the business and legal environment. A4 is a size Standardized by the ISO 216. Letter and Legal paper sizes are in use in the Northern American Countries including the US. Old imperial foolscap paper size was used in the British Commonwealth before the introduction of ISO 216. The lengths of these paper sizes vary in a big range. A measure of A4 paper size is 297 mm (11.7 in) while the length of Letter is 279 mm (11.0 in).

The period of Legal is 356 mm (14.0 in), and that of Foolscap is 330 mm (13.0 in). The breadths of all these paper sizes are almost the same ranging from 203 mm to 216 mm (8.0 to 8.5 in). Foolscap has the shortest breadth 203 mm (8.0 in) while A4 has 210 mm (8.3 in) breadth. Letter and Legal have the most considerable thickness at 216 mm (8.5 in).

Difference between A4 and Letter Paper Sizes

Length:                A4 is more significant in range than Letter Size by 18 mm (0.7 in).

Breadth:              Here, it is reversed. The letter is more significant in scope than A4 Size by 6 mm (0.2 in)

Area:                     Overall, A4 is more significant in area than Letter Size by a small amount, approx. 0.002 sq. m (0.002 sq. yd)

Aspect Ratio:     Aspect ratio of A4 Size is √2:1 while that of Letter is 1.2941:1.

Difference between A4 and Legal Paper Sizes

Length:                Legal is more significant in range than A4 Size by a whopping 59 mm (2.3 in).

Breadth:              Legal is also more prominent in thickness than A4 Size by 6 mm (0.2 in)

Area:                     Overall, Legal is more significant in area than A4 Size by approx. 0.015 sq. m (0.018 sq. yd)

Aspect Ratio:     Aspect ratio of A4 Size is √2:1 while that of Legal is 1.6471:1.

Difference between A4 and Foolscap Paper Sizes

Length:                Foolscap is more significant in range than A4 Size by 33 mm (1.3 in).

Breadth:              Here, it is reversed. A4 is bigger in scope than Foolscap Size by 7 mm (0.3 in)

Area:                     Overall, Foolscap is more significant in area than A4 Size by approx. 0.005 sq. m (0.006 sq. yd)

Aspect Ratio:     Aspect ratio of A4 Size is √2:1 while that of Foolscap is 1.625:1. (The number 625 comes from British obsession with the number 25 and its multiples.)

Difference between Letter and Legal Paper Sizes

Length:                Legal is more significant in diameter than Letter Size by 77 mm (3.0 in).

Breadth:              Letter and Legal both share the same dimensions for breadth, 216 mm (8.5 in) and there is no difference.

Area:                     Overall, Legal is bigger in area than Letter Size by approx. 0.017 sq. m (0.030 sq. yd)

Aspect Ratio:     Aspect ratio of Legal Size is 1.6471:1 while that of Letter is 1.2941:1.

Difference between Letter and Foolscap Paper Sizes

Length:                Foolscap is bigger in length than Letter Size by 51 mm (2.0 in).

Breadth:              Here, it is reversed. The letter is bigger in breadth than Foolscap Size by 13 mm (0.5 in)

Area:                     Overall, Foolscap is bigger in area than Letter Size by approx. 0.007 sq. m (0.008 sq. yd)

Aspect Ratio:     Aspect ratio of Letter Size is 1.2941:1 while that of Foolscap is 1.625:1.

Difference between Legal and Foolscap Paper Sizes

Length:                Foolscap is shorter in length than Legal Size by 26 mm (1.0 in).

Breadth:              Foolscap is also shorter in breadth than Legal Size by 13 mm (0.5 in)

Area:                     Overall, Legal is bigger in area than Foolscap Size by approx. 0.010 sq. m (0.012 sq. yd)

Aspect Ratio:     Aspect ratio of Legal Size is 1.6471:1 while that of Foolscap is 1.625:1.

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