Dimensions Of A Paper Sizes
Dimensions Of B Paper Sizes
Dimensions Of C Envelope Sizes
Dimensions Of RA & SRA Untrimmed Sizes
US Paper Sizes
British Imperial Paper Sizes
Paper Size Scale & Magification Factors
Portrait & Landscape Paper
Paper Stock Types
Paper Quantities - Quire, Ream, Bundle, Bale & Pallet
What Is The Weight Of A Sheet Of Paper?
US to UK & International Paper Weights
Paper Whiteness, Brightness & Shade
Dimensions US & North American Envlope Sizes
English Uncut Printing, Book & Drawing Paper Sizes
A4, Foolscap, Letter & Legal Paper Size Comparison
Before metrication the UK used British Imperial paper sizes, most of which were quickly superseded by the ISO 216 A series paper sizes, however Foolscap Folio, to give it its full name, the most commonly used office writing paper took longer to disappear. Foolscap was still in everyday office use well into the mid 1980's and the name was often, incorrectly, used to refer to A4 size paper. Foolscap can now only be obtained from specialist paper manufacturers such as James Cropper plc and is not available from commercial office supplies stockists.
Cut Writing Paper Sizes
The following table gives the sizes in inches and mm of the British imperial cut writing paper sizes.
|Size||Length x Height (mm)||Length x Height (in)||Aspect Ratio|
|Albert||4.0 x 6.0 in||101.6 x 152.4 mm||1:1.5|
|Duchess||4.5 x 6.0 in||114.3 x 152.4 mm||1:1.3333|
|Duke||5.5 x 7.0 in||139.7 x 177.8 mm||1:1.2727|
|Foolscap Quarto||6.5 x 8.0 in||152.4 x 203.2 mm||1:1.2308|
|Foolscap Folio||8.0 x 13.0 in||203.2 x 330.2 mm||1:1.625|
|Small Post Octavo||4.5 x 7.0 in||114.3 x 177.8 mm||1:1.5556|
|Small Post Quarto||7.0 x 9.0 in||177.8 x 228.6 mm||1:1.2857|
|Large Post Octavo||5.0 x 8.0 in||127.0 x 203.2 mm||1:1.6|
|Large Post Quarto||8.0 x 10.0 in||203.2 x 254.0 mm||1:1.25|
As can be seen from the above table the aspect ratios of the imperial paper sizes are not constant as per the ISO A & B series papers. Generally folio and octavo are longer and thinner and quarto paper is squarer than A series paper. Click the following link for detailed explanation of the difference between Foolscap and A4, Letter and Legal paper sizes in use across the world today.
Folio, Quarto & Octavo Paper Sizes Explained
Folio, Quarto and Octavo are all cut paper sizes and if used on their own are technically incorrect. For instance you may see the term folio paper - this could, and generally does, refer to Foolscap Folio however it could refer to Small Post folio. This is because the terms folio, quarto and octavo are used to define the number of folds used when the uncut paper is being folded after printing for binding into books.
Although some Folio, Quarto and Octavo sizes were available as loose cut paper (e.g. Foolscap Folio) most were only used in book printing. There are also some even less common folds sexto, duodecimo and sextodecimo that were almost exclusively used in book production. Below is a table of how folds translate into individual sheets (leaves) and pages (leaves printed double sided) for each type.
Uncut Writing Paper Sizes
The following table gives uncut writing paper sizes from the British Imperial standards.
|Size||Width x Height (in)||Width x Height (mm)||Aspect Ratio|
|Pott||12.5 x 15.0 in||317.5 x 381.0 mm||1:1.2|
|Double Pott||15.0 x 25.0 in||381.0 x 635.0 mm||1:1.6667|
|Foolscap||13.25 x 16.5 in||336.6 x 419.1 mm||1:1.2453|
|Double Foolscap||16.5 x 26.5 in||419.1 x 673.1 mm||1:1.6061|
|Foolscap and Third||13.25 x 22.0 in||336.6 x 558.8 mm||1:1.6604|
|Foolscap and Half||13.25 x 24.75 in||336.6 x 628.7 mm||1:1.8679|
|Pinched Post||14.5 x 18.5 in||368.3 x 469.9 mm||1:1.2759|
|Post||15.25 x 19.0 in||387.4 x 482.6 mm||1:1.2459|
|Double Post||19.0 x 30.5 in||482.6 x 774.7 mm||1:1.6053|
|Large Post||16.5 x 20.75 in||419.1 x 527.1 mm||1:1.2576|
|Double Large Post||20.75 x 33.0 in||527.1 x 838.2 mm||1:1.5904|
|Copy||16.25 x 20.0 in||412.8 x 508.0 mm||1:1.2308|
|Medium||18.0 x 20.5 in||457.2 x 520.7 mm||1:1.1389|
As you can see from this table the true size of Foolscap is 13¼ x 16½ inches. The paper that use to be commonly used in offices, that was called Foolscap was in fact the cut size Foolscap Folio.