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World Intergraphic Services

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Agfa 30 Online (1998)
Agfa 30 Online (1998)
Kategorie: Others

Preis [EUR]: your offer please
MBO K65/4 KL (1971)
MBO K65/4 KL (1971)
Kategorie: Folders

Preis [EUR]: your offer please
Bobst Farma 36 (1978)
Bobst Farma 36 (1978)
Kategorie: Foldingbox - gluing

Preis [EUR]: your offer please
Ryobi 3304 H (1999)
Ryobi 3304 H (1999)
Kategorie: 4 Colors

Preis [EUR]: your offer please

Historical US paper formats

Name in × in mm × mm
Post 15½ × 19¼ 394 × 489
Large Post 16½ × 21 419 × 533
Elephant 23 × 28 584 × 711
Medium 18 × 23 457 × 584
Crown 15 × 20 381 × 508
Royal 20 × 25 508 × 635
Quarto 8 × 10 203 × 254
Foolscap 8 × 13 203 × 330
Demy 17½ × 22½ 445 × 572
Double Demy 23½ × 35 597 × 889
Quad Demy 35 × 45 889 × 1143
Dollar Bill 3 × 7 76 × 178

Hints for North American paper users

The United States, Canada, and in part Mexico, are today the only industrialized nations in which the ISO standard paper sizes are not yet widely used. In U.S. office applications, the paper formats "Letter" (216 × 279 mm), "Legal" (216 × 356 mm), "Executive" (190 × 254 mm), and "Ledger/Tabloid" (279 × 432 mm) are widely used today. There exists also an American National Standard ANSI/ASME Y14.1 for technical drawing paper sizes A (216 × 279 mm), B (279 × 432 mm), C (432 × 559 mm), D (559 × 864 mm), E (864 × 1118 mm), and there are many other unsystematic formats for various applications in use. The "Letter", "Legal", "Tabloid", and other formats (although not these names) are defined in the American National Standard ANSI X3.151-1987.

While all ISO paper formats have consistently the same aspect ratio of sqrt(2)=1.414, the U.S. format series has two different alternating aspect ratios 17/11=1.545 and 22/17=1.294. Therefore you cannot reduce or magnify from one U.S. format to the next higher or lower without leaving an empty margin, which is rather inconvenient.

The new American National Standard ANSI/ASME Y14.1m-1995 specifies how to use the ISO A0-A4 formats for technical drawings in the U.S. Technical drawings usually have a fixed drawing scale (e.g., 1:100 means that one meter is drawn as one centimeter), therefore it is not easily possible to resize technical drawings between U.S. and standard paper formats. As a result, internationally operating U.S. corporations increasingly find it more convenient to abandon the old ANSI Y14.1 formats and prepare technical drawings for ISO paper sizes, like the rest of the world does.

The historic origins of the 216 × 279 mm U.S. Letter format, and in particular its rationale, seem rather obscure. The earliest documented attempts to standardize U.S. paper format used a completely different format. On 1921-03-28, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce (Hoover) declared a 203 × 267 mm format to be the standard for his department, which was adopted on 1921-09-14 by the Permanent Conference on Printing (established by General Dawes, first director of the Bureau of the Budget) as the general U.S. government letterhead standard. Independent of that, on 1921-08-30 a Committee on the Simplification of Paper Sizes consisting of printing industry representatives was appointed to work with the Bureau of Standards. It recommended standard basic sizes of 432 × 559 mm (17 × 22 in), 432 × 711 mm (17 × 28 in), 483 × 610 mm (19 × 24 in), 559 × 864 mm (22 × 34 in), 711 × 864 mm (28 × 34 in), and 610 × 914 mm (24 × 36 in). What became later known as the U.S. Letter format is just the first of these basic sizes halved. One hypothesis for the origin of this format series is that it was derived from a then typical mold size used then in the production of hand-made paper. It appears that this standard was just a commercial compromise at the time to reduce inventory requirements without requiring significant changes to existing production equipment. The Hoover standard remained in force until the government declared in 1980-01 the 216 × 279 mm format to be the new official paper format for U.S. government offices.

The Canadian standard CAN 2-9.60M "Paper Sizes for Correspondence" defines the six formats P1 (560 × 860 mm), P2 (430 × 560 mm), P3 (280 × 430 mm), P4 (215 × 280 mm), P5 (140 × 215 mm), and P6 (107 × 140 mm). These are just the U.S. sizes rounded to the nearest half centimeter (P4 ~ U.S. Letter, P3 ~ U.S. Ledger). This Canadian standard was introduced in 1976, even though the Ontario Government already had introduced the ISO A series formats before in 1972. Even though these Canadian paper sizes look somewhat like a pseudo-metric standard, they still suffer from the two major inconveniences of the U.S. formats, namely they have no common height/width ratio and they differ significantly from what the rest of the world uses.

If you purchase new office or printing equipment in North America, it might be wise to pay attention whether the equipment is suitable for use with A4 paper. When you make inquiries, best indicate to vendors that ISO 216 compatibility of equipment is of concern to you.

If you live in the U.S. and have never been abroad, you might not be aware that paper and accessories in the North-American sizes are not commonly available outside the U.S. or Canada. They are very difficult to obtain in any other country and the only practical way to get U.S. "Letter" there is to cut one of the next larger available sizes (usually B4, A3 or RA4). Therefore, do not expect anyone to send you documents in "Letter" format from abroad. If you send documents to any other country, your use of A4 will greatly ease the handling and filing of your documents for the recipient. If you design software that might be used globally, please keep in mind that the vast majority of laser printer users will print onto A4 paper. Therefore always make A4 the default setting and the first selection choice in your printing user interface. Remember that it is the paper format used by about 95% of the people on this planet.

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