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Even though it’s the digital age, paper remains an extremely popular product. In fact, 65,395,000,000 sheets of paper are used in the US every single day. Here are all the international and US paper size standards, paper printing sizes, and a gorgeous cheat sheet of paper sizes to print out and keep.
I’m guessing that you use some type of paper every day, whether it’s to jot down notes in your legal pad or print out the awesome printables from this blog on letter or A4 paper. Perhaps you use an A5 planner or an A4 diary. Or maybe you print out coloring pages for the kids or buy different sizes of paper for your own crafts and creative projects.
Paper is everywhere – in our homes, our craft rooms, our classrooms, our offices, our restaurants…
Before we dive into the wonderful world of paper, be sure to sign up below to get the password to the resource library. One of the many freebies available in the library is a Paper Sizes Printable Cheat Sheet waiting for you to download it – just click on the picture below to get it…
Paper sizes are set by standards
A4, A0, letter size, tabloid size, ISO, A, B, C – all those paper terms and sizes can get very confusing!
Let’s start at the beginning so we never get confused again…
All paper sizes are regulated by standards. These standards make sure that paper sizes are always the same.
For example, if you order colored letter-sized paper or an A5 planner online from Amazon, you know exactly what size that paper or planner will be because there are standard measurements for those sizes.
So what are these paper size standards?
There are two main paper size standards in the world: international paper sizes and US paper sizes.
Each standard has its own measurements and names for paper sizes.
If you live in, say, Europe, then you’ll use the international paper size standard set by ISO 216. This is the standard used across the world except the US and Canada.
The international standard has 3 alphabetized series for paper sizes, namely A series, B series and C series.
If you live in Canada or the US, you will know and use US paper sizes. US paper sizes have two types of names/categories:
- Names for loose US standard paper sizes (e.g. letter, legal, ledger, tabloid), and
- Alphabetized names (e.g. A, B, C) set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
US paper sizes
The most common paper size in the US and Canada is letter paper, which is 8.5 inches wide and 11 inches high.
Let’s look at all the US paper sizes and their standard measurements:
Loose US Standard Sizes Table
The table below gives you a list of all the loose US standard paper sizes in inches and millimeters. All measurements are width by height (width x height). For example, foolscap paper is 8 x 13”, so it’s 8 inches wide and 13 inches high.
You might recognize some of the common paper names in the table, such as letter, legal and ledger.
US Paper Sizes - LooseAll measurements are width x height
|Statement / Half Letter / Stationery / Memo / Half A / Half Size||5½ × 8½||140 × 216|
|Executive||7¼ × 10½||184 × 267|
|Quarto||8 × 10||203 × 254|
|Foolscap||8 x 13||203 × 330|
|Government-Letter||8 × 10½||203 × 267|
|Letter||8½ × 11||216 × 279|
|Legal||8½ × 14||216 × 356|
|Ledger / Tabloid||11 × 17||279 × 432|
|Crown||15 × 20||381 × 508|
|Post||15½ × 19¼||394 × 489|
|Large Post||16½ × 21||419 × 533|
|Demy||17½ × 22½||445 × 572|
|Medium||18 × 23||457 × 584|
|Royal||20 × 25||508 × 635|
|Double Demy||22½ × 35||572 × 889|
|Elephant||23 × 28||584 × 711|
|Quad Demy||35 × 45||889 × 1143|
ANSI US paper sizes
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) also set a standard for paper sizes.
ANSI standard sizes are based on the US letter format (8.5 x 11 inches), which ANSI calls size A. Each size bigger than this A size gets a new letter of the alphabet, from B to E. ANSI B is often called ledger or tabloid.
ANSI sizes were created to work much like international standards, where cutting one paper size in half creates two of the next smaller size. For example, cutting an ANSI B (ledger / tabloid) in half gives you two A sizes (letter size).
The difference between the international ISO and US ANSI standards is that ISO has a single aspect ratio but ANSI has two aspect ratios – some ANSI sizes have to be shorter while others are longer. If you look at the table below you will see the width and height pattern with each size change.
The following table gives you a list of all the ANSI US standard paper sizes in inches and millimeters. All measurements are width by height (width x height). For example, C size paper is 17 x 22”, so it’s 17 inches wide and 22 inches high.
ANSI US Paper SizesAll measurements are width x height
|A||8½ × 11||216 × 279|
|B||11 × 17||279 × 432|
|C||17 × 22||432 × 559|
|D||22 × 34||559 × 864|
|E||34 × 44||864 × 1118|
International paper sizes
International paper sizes are used in all countries except the US and Canada. This standard was set by ISO 216.
There are 3 series in international paper size standards: A series, B series and C series. These standards were created using the metric system in millimeters, not inches.
The most frequently used paper size is A4, which is 210 × 297 mm (8.27 × 11.69 inches).
The following sections will give you all the international standard paper sizes in inches and millimeters for each series: A, B and C. All measurements are width by height (width x height). For example, A5 paper is 148 x 210 mm, so it’s 148 millimeters wide and 210 millimeters high.
A series paper sizes
The A series of paper sizes is based on a mathematical formula where the formats have an aspect ratio (height to width) of the square root of 2.
This was done to make scaling easy: each size is half the size of the previous size. This makes it easy to make pictures bigger or smaller for printing, without cutting things off or leaving large margins if you want to print in different sizes.
A4 is the most common page size. Cut it in half and it becomes two A5 pages. Cut an A5 in half and it becomes two A6 pages. You could keep going until A10, a very small piece of paper at 26 x 37 millimeters!
This table shows all the A series paper sizes in inches and millimeters:
International Paper Sizes - A SeriesAll measurements are width x height
|A0||33 1⁄8 × 46 19⁄24||841 × 1,189|
|A1||23 3⁄8 × 33 1⁄8||594 × 841|
|A2||16 13⁄24 × 23 3⁄8||420 × 594|
|A3||11 17⁄24 × 16 13⁄24||297 × 420|
|A4||8 1⁄4 × 11 17⁄24||210 × 297|
|A5||5 5⁄6 × 8 1⁄4||148 × 210|
|A6||4 1⁄8 × 5 5⁄6||105 × 148|
|A7||2 11⁄12 × 4 1⁄8||74 × 105|
|A8||2 1⁄24 × 2 11⁄12||52 × 74|
|A9||1 11⁄24 × 2 1⁄24||37 × 52|
|A10||1 1⁄24 × 1 11⁄24||26 × 37|
B series paper sizes
B series paper sizes are also mathematically calculated as the geometric mean of A series paper sizes. This just means that each size falls in the middle between one size bigger and one size smaller. For example, B1 size is the size between A1 and A0 paper sizes.
B series sizes are not as common as A series, but they do come in handy for printing posters, books, passports and envelopes.
This table shows all the B series paper sizes in inches and millimeters:
International Paper Sizes - B SeriesAll measurements are width x height
|B0||39 3⁄8 × 55 2⁄3||1,000 × 1,414|
|B1||27 5⁄6 × 39 3⁄8||707 × 1,000|
|B2||19 2⁄3 × 27 5⁄6||500 × 707|
|B3||13 11⁄12 × 19 2⁄3||353 × 500|
|B4||9 5⁄6 × 13 11⁄12||250 × 353|
|B5||6 11⁄12 × 9 5⁄6||176 × 250|
|B6||4 11⁄12 × 6 11⁄12||125 × 176|
|B7||3 11⁄24 × 4 11⁄12||88 × 125|
|B8||2 11⁄24 × 3 11⁄24||62 × 88|
|B9||1 3⁄4 × 2 11⁄24||44 × 62|
|B10||1 5⁄24 × 1 3⁄4||31 × 44|
C series paper sizes
C series is mostly used for envelopes: A C4 envelope fits an A4 or B4 page, a C1 envelope fits an A1 or B1 page, etc. Why is this?
Because each C series paper size is the geometric mean of the A and B series with the same number. As with the B series, the words ‘geometric mean’ tell us that the size falls between two other sizes.
For example, C3 is the geometric mean of A3 and B3 paper sizes. So, C3 is slightly bigger than an A3 page and a little smaller than a B3 page. In fact, it falls in the middle of an A3 and a B3. This makes it easy to fit an A3 or a B3 page into a C3 envelope.
This table shows all the C series paper sizes in inches and millimeters:
International Paper Sizes - C SeriesAll measurements are width x height
|C0||36 1⁄12 × 51 1⁄12||917 × 1,297|
|C1||25 1⁄2 × 36 1⁄12||648 × 917|
|C2||18 1⁄24 × 25 1⁄2||458 × 648|
|C3||12 3⁄4 × 18 1⁄24||324 × 458|
|C4||9 × 12 3⁄4||229 × 324|
|C5||6 3⁄8 × 9||162 × 229|
|C6||4 1⁄2 × 6 3⁄8||114 × 162|
|C7||3 5⁄24 × 4 1⁄2||81 × 114|
|C8||2 1⁄4 × 3 5⁄24||57 × 81|
|C9||1 7⁄12 × 2 1⁄4||40 × 57|
|C10||1 1⁄12 × 1 7⁄12||28 × 40|
Paper sizes in pixels
There’s no one size fits all when it comes to pixels and paper sizes. You can give the page as many pixels as you want – the more pixels there are, the higher the quality.
The number of pixels will also depend on if you’re using the image for digital or print and how fast/slow your site speed is. Lots of high-res graphics will slow down your site if you don’t have the right hosting for this.
One thing I can say is that it’s very important to use good quality images. And it’s even more important to optimize these images when you use them online!
Digital images can be made anywhere upwards from 72 dpi (dots per inch), though screens have amazing resolution quality these days and your images may be grainy at 72 dpi. If you’re working on social media images, you can make the pixels much much higher than the recommended ratio given by Facebook and the other platforms.
For printing, however, you should print or export printable files at 300 dpi for good quality. If you’re scanning a page, the industry standard minimum is 200 dpi. For optical character recognition, 300 dpi should be the minimum resolution.
If you’re creating printables for yourself or to sell for extra money, here’s a guide for the number of pixels to use for very good quality printing or a good resolution on screens:
Paper Sizes in PixelsAll measurements are width x height
|Half Letter||5.5 inches x 8.6 inches||2,550 x 1,650|
|Letter||8.5 x 11 inches||2,550 x 3,300|
|A5||210 x 148 millimeters||1,748 x 2,480|
|A4||297 x 210 millimeters||2,480 x 3,508|
I used the letter pixels (2550 x 330 pixels) to create this free downloadable cheat sheet.
Most common paper sizes
The most common paper size in the US and Canada is the US letter size, which measures 8.5 x 11 inches.
The next most common size is called legal, which is 8.5 x 14 inches. Legal paper is a little taller (from top to bottom) than letter size. Tabloid paper is also a common paper size, measuring 17 x 11 inches.
Internationally, A4 is the most common paper size. A4 was designed using the metric system and measures 210 x 297 millimeters (8.27 x 11.69 inches).
The following table gives measurements for comparison between letter, legal, foolscap and A4 paper sizes:
Comparison of the most common paper sizesAll measurements are width x height
|Letter||8.5 x 11.0||216 x 279|
|Legal||8.5 x 14.0||216 x 356|
|Foolscap||8.0 x 13.0||203 x 330|
|A4||8.3 x 11.7||210 x 297|
A4 vs letter paper size
A4 and letter paper sizes are actually very similar. Let’s look at the measurements in inches:
A4: 8.27 x 11.69 inches
Letter: 8.5 x 11 inches
Based on the above measurements, we can see that the US letter is ever so slightly wider (8.5 – 8.27 = 0.23 inches wider) and slightly smaller in height (11 – 11.69 = -0.69 inches) than an A4 page.
Paper sizes for printing
Most household printers can print letter and half letter prints in the US and Canada. Some can also handle US legal size paper.
In the rest of the world, printers are usually designed for A4 and A5 prints (remember that A4 is the most common paper size and you can print two A5s on one A4 size page).
Any other paper sizes may need to be printed by professionals with bigger printers.
Portrait and landscape paper
Portrait and landscape formats are not paper size measurements – they actually refer to the direction of the paper when you use it.
Portrait is when the writing or image on the page works with the longer side running from top to bottom and the shorter side running from left to right. Here’s what portrait format looks like:
This is the most commonly used format for writing and pictures.
Landscape format is when the paper’s short sides run from top to bottom and the longer sides run from left to right. Here’s what a landscape format looks like:
FAQs about paper sizes
What are the different sizes of paper?
Paper comes in standard sizes based on ANSI and loose paper sizes. ANSI paper sizes run from A to E. Loose paper sizes include the ever-popular ledger, letter and tabloid paper sizes. There are also international sizes for paper such as A4 and A5.
What are standard paper sizes for printing?
American and US printers use ANSI and loose paper sizes for printing. International print sizes are based on ISO 216 standards. Most home printers are designed to print A4, A5, letter and half letter sizes.
What size paper is 11×17?
Paper that is 11×17 inches is standard ledger or tabloid size paper. This paper size is bigger than the more common letter and legal sized paper used in the US and Canada.
What is 8.5×11 paper called?
Paper that measures 8.5×11 inches is called letter paper. This is the most common US paper size and is very close to the international A4 size paper.
Paper comes in many sizes set by the international ISO 216 standards and the US paper sizes standards. US paper sizes are based on loose sizes (ledger, letter, etc.) and the ANSI alphabetized sizes (A, B, C, etc).
Home printers are used to print A4, A5, letter and half letter sizes. Bigger printing sizes may need to be done by a professional with printers made for bigger paper sizes.
Don’t forget to grab the free cheat sheet below to have a quick reference for the US paper sizes in inches and millimeters. Also, makes sure you get these free heart coloring pages that are designed to be printed on letter or A4 paper.