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# The Logic Behind Metric Paper Sizes

#### michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the forty-rods-to-the-hogshead dept.

1461

Oily Pakora writes "Those of us in the United States are so used to our Letter and Legal paper sizes. We've seen the A4 paper size option in our printer trays and in printer preference menus. Metric sizes used almost everywhere in the world, save for the US and Canada. Here is an interesting article that discusses all of the aspects of metric paper. For those who enjoy a bit of math, did you know that in the Metric paper system, the height-to-width ratio of all pages is the square root of 2? This means that you can place two sheets of A4 side-by-side and they will equal an A3 sheet exactly, and two sheets of A3 will equal an A2."

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#### Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

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### Drugs teach American kids the metric system. (3, Funny)

#### conner_bw (120497) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152755)

Logic?

The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it.

### Re:Drugs teach American kids the metric system. (4, Informative)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152796)

That joke is in the title. From the "forty-rods-to-the-hogshead department."

### Re:Drugs teach American kids the metric system. (-1, Funny)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152832)

The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it.

Shouldn't that be:

My car gets forty rods to the berg'shead and that's the way I likes it.

Nick berg's head is useful for so many things... bowling, wall-mounted decoration, could make a pinwheel out of it, dodgeball...

Let's see your creativity, slashdot, what would YOU do with that head?

### Re:Drugs teach American kids the metric system. (-1, Offtopic)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152962)

Let's see your creativity, slashdot, what would YOU do with that head?

I would make a fortune off the tooth fairy.

### Just in case the server crashes and burns... (-1, Troll)

#### mirror_dude (775745) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152857)

Just in case the server crashes and burns (like they usually do),I have put up a mirror.
The mirror of http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/iso-paper.html is at http://mirrorit.demonmoo.com/r_388/www.cl.cam.ac.u k/~mgk25/iso-paper.html [demonmoo.com]

### Re:Drugs teach American kids the metric system. (4, Interesting)

#### Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152936)

Origin of the phrase "one for the road". In London, while on the way to the gallows, the cart would stop at each pub along the way. The criminal would be allowed a drink at every pub, almost always 'on the house' so that the soul would not come back to make due on a debt. Also, i suspect pity played a large role.

### Psst. (-1, Offtopic)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152756)

Did you know that the great pyramids calculate pi and that crop circles are actually made by guys with broomsticks!!!

Come-on really, Do I want to measure a piece of paper using the square root of two?

### Re:Psst. (4, Insightful)

#### StrawberryFrog (67065) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152782)

Come-on really, Do I want to measure a piece of paper using the square root of two?

No, but it's very pleasant that an A3 page folded in half is exactly the same size as an A4 page. root-two is just the mathematical means to that end.

### Re:Psst. (1)

#### Joe U (443617) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152928)

I never understood why some people love to number backwards. Why not x1 - confetti square, x500 - wallpaper? Anything under x1 would be too small to work with anyway.

No, someone thought, hey A4, A3, A2, A1, A0, 1A0, 2A0, that's not annoying or confusing at all.

News?

### Re:2 x A4 = A3 (5, Funny)

#### Leffe (686621) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152801)

Not at all, I thought everyone knew this... I don't live in America though...

### Mod parent up. (4, Funny)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152835)

Jeez, must be a slow day. I'll go search the net for something that was new 30 years ago and post it on Slashdot!

### Re:2 x A4 = A3 (2, Interesting)

#### txviking (768200) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152894)

That reminds me when I had to fold A0 drawings in order to fit them on A4 rings binders in a way, that you could unfold them without taken them out of the rings. Is something like this ever done with non-metric paper ?

### Re:2 x A4 = A3 (1)

#### tymbow (725036) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152964)

Yeah but it gets more interesting than that. 2 x A4 = A3 sure, but 2 x A3 = A2 and 2 x A2 = A1 and 2 x A1 = A0 and And 2 x A5 = A4 and I'm sure there is an A6 in there some where as well. All nice and logical.

### Mirror (1, Troll)

#### mirror_dude (775745) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152979)

I'm not sure how this server is going to handle it , so I put a mirror of the article up here [demonmoo.com]

### It's articles like this (5, Funny)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152765)

That make me happy my rolling paper is not metric
-B

### Re:It's articles like this (1, Funny)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152837)

Mine is....and two pinners side by side makes one phattie

### Re:It's articles like this (5, Funny)

#### justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152842)

That make me happy my rolling paper is not metric

oh, i dunno...can't say i'd mind something rolled with a sheet of A0... @_@

### Side-by-sideness (5, Informative)

#### TyrelHaveman (159881) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152779)

You can also put two 8.5x11 (Letter) sheets of paper side by side and it equals an 11x17 (Tabloid) sheet of paper...

### Re:Side-by-sideness (3, Informative)

#### N1RCV (560341) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152853)

In the engineering world (in USA). Letter size is A size. Tabloid is B size. 2 B sizes (22x17) is C size. And 24x36 is D size.

### Re:Side-by-sideness (2, Informative)

#### The Blue Meanie (223473) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152959)

And oddly enough, non-metric paper also comes in 5.5x8.5 (half of letter size), 23x17 (two 11x17s and a gutter), and 23x35 (two 23x17s and a gutter). This just makes sense to do, so you can print 16-page signatures for books or 8-up letter-size pages that can be cut down.
How is the metric version superior because they can get two of each size out of the next size up just as easily as we can?

### Re:Side-by-sideness (4, Interesting)

#### salzbrot (314893) | more than 9 years ago | (#9153001)

That is true, but the 8.5 x 11 has a width-length ratio of about 1.29, whereas the 11 x 17 has a ratio of 1.54. A sheet of 17 x 22 again has the ratio of 1.29 and so on.

The DIN A formats all have the ratio of square root 2. That makes it very easy to scale stuff up or down, e.g. if you use a copy machine: copy 2 DIN A4 (= DIN A3) on one DIN A4 without messing up the margins. Cut the sheet in half and you have 2 DIN A5 pages that exactly look like the DIN A4 pages, only half the size.

### The Logic Behind Metric Paper Sizes (1, Troll)

#### errxn (108621) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152781)

It isn't the crappy English measurement system. That's all the "logic" I need.

### Re:The Logic Behind Metric Paper Sizes (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152984)

All units in the Standard system can be divided by 3. Let's see you take your board and devid it in into thirds...

### And this is superior why? (3, Insightful)

#### FatSean (18753) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152786)

I mean, I guess for those who create and ship paper it makes fiting boxes together easier...

But the average guy printing out documents could care less.

### Oooo.... root 2! (1, Insightful)

#### raehl (609729) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152788)

And this is interesting why?

Two shees of 8.5x11 = one sheet of 11x17 too. WOW!

### Re:Oooo.... root 2! (1)

#### Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152863)

if only it was possible to mod your post +6 I'd do that.

### Re:Oooo.... root 2! (1)

#### Sirch (82595) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152879)

This is the top hit on Google for "paper sizes" and, as such, I've been using it as a reference for a few years now. Look at the creation date.

I rest my case.

### Re:Oooo.... root 2! (4, Insightful)

#### jdavidb (449077) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152888)

You don't get it. It keeps going, recursively. Two A4's equal an A3, and two A3's equal an A2, and so on. The deal is that the paper is in such proportion that all A* papers are in the exact same proportion. That's not true if you double a 8 1/2 by 11. The proportion there is .77272, while the proportion for a doubled sheet, 11x17 is .647059.

I'm betting the Golden Ratio comes into A4 paper somehow; anyone want to comment?

### Re:Oooo.... root 2! (1)

#### miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152904)

You're missing the point. The ratio of sides of the smaller sheet is the same as the larger sheet. Cut the smaller sheet in half, and you get two sheets with the same proportions again. Ad infinitum.

### Cubits (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152905)

Cubits damnit, I want cubits!

### Re:Oooo.... root 2! (4, Insightful)

#### Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152982)

Constant aspect ratio. You don't have to remake your posters/flyers depending on what sheet you intend to print on. 11/17 != 8.5/11. It also makes shipping easier. Basically the only reason to stick with imperial measurements is inertia, as always.

### Obligatory (5, Funny)

#### swordboy (472941) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152789)

PC Load Letter!? WTF does that mean?!

### Re:Obligatory (1)

#### Bazman (4849) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152826)

Blah. That always causes people to think they have to stick something in the single-sheet-feeder tray on our printers. So they stand their feeding in 120 pages by hand, cos the printer keeps saying 'PC Load Letter'.

One button on the printer later and it says 'Would you like to print using A4 instead?'.

### Re:Obligatory (2, Funny)

#### AndyElf (23331) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152980)

Actually, newer (as in, say last 3-5 yrs) HP printers (proper ones, not the small crap that tends to spread like cancer in poorly managed offices) have a config option to always override this sort of a mis-hap.

One thing I was always curious though, is why is it asking 'PC' for letter-sized paper? Why not 'Dude, load letter'?

### Canada does use Metric (1)

#### PhilippeT (697931) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152793)

Umm Canada uses metric you moron...

For paper we support both.

### Yes, but... (2, Insightful)

#### jbellis (142590) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152797)

Square roots of two are very mathematically cool, but... "ISO A4 is 6 mm less wide but 18 mm higher than the U.S. "Letter" format." [1/4" less wide, 3/4" taller.]

I dunno, longer, less-wide paper means that the perimeter contains its writing
area less efficiently. (A square would be most efficient for a
rectangle.) So despite making my notepad almost 3/4" more unwieldy,
moving to A4 actually reduces the area of the sheet by a small
amount. (Do the math.)

Sure it's silly to quibble about a square centimeter of area; I'm just
trying to quantify my aesthetic objection to skinnier paper...

### Re:Yes, but... (2, Insightful)

#### justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152912)

Sure it's silly to quibble about a square centimeter of area; I'm just trying to quantify my aesthetic objection to skinnier paper...

are you sure it has nothing to do with it being what you're used to???

### Do the math, indeed (4, Informative)

#### lambent (234167) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152966)

Square milimeters of paper:

Letter: 60322.46 mm^2 (215.9mm x 279.4mm)

A4: 62370 mm^2 (210mm × 297mm)

A4 - Letter = 2047.54, or about 3 and 3/16 square inches.

A4 is bigger.

### Audi A4 (5, Funny)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152798)

There's also an Audi A4, and if you put two of those side by side, people say "Look, isn't that a coincidence".

ROFL!

### Yet another reason for the US to switch to metric (3, Insightful)

#### miketang16 (585602) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152799)

We claim to be one of the most scientifically advanced countries in the world, but we can't adopt a useful standard that the _rest_ of the scientific community uses. Seriously, what is the problem with metric? I find it so much easier to use than the English system. Our government should at least make the attempt to switch over.

### Re:Yet another reason for the US to switch to metr (2, Insightful)

#### aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152887)

So? Use metric for science-related stuff where it really matters. (Most in the US do anyway.) There's no good reason to go to the expense and trouble of switching from English to metric all at once. It's much more cost-effective to do it over the space of a couple generations rather than all at once.

### Re:Yet another reason for the US to switch to metr (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152994)

care to back that up or are you pulling it out of your ass? Many countries have made the switch over in recent times. How is it more efficent to always have two sets of wrenches? Or mars probes crashing. The cost of the probe alone would go a long way to pay for swicthing.

### Re:Yet another reason for the US to switch to metr (2, Interesting)

#### JesseL (107722) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152950)

You don't really think the size of our paper has anything to do with our level of scientific advancement. There are many reasons why the metric system is good and we should all learn to use it - standardizing our paper sizes isn't one of them. (BTW the metric system sucks for times when you really do want to use fractions)

### Huh? (1, Insightful)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9153005)

(BTW the metric system sucks for times when you really do want to use fractions)

Care to explain?

### Re:Yet another reason for the US to switch to metr (2, Informative)

#### Jahf (21968) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152963)

Either that was tongue-in-cheek, which I respect, or you are under the age of 30.

They did try ... I was in elementary school at the time. I agree, metric makes a lot more sense in -all- manner of implementation. Unfortunately by the time I left elementary school (lets see ... 1982?) they had all but given up.

It definitely makes international travel interesting. It is bad enough when you have to explain your country's politics, but explaining your measurement system (especially in the areas where said system originated) is plain frustrating.

### Re:Yet another reason for the US to switch to metr (1)

#### beachplum (777797) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152967)

When I was in elementary school in the 70s, we were taught the Metric system and were also taught that within ten years the US would be using Metric exclusively.

Obviously, this, like many other predictions of the future, did not come to pass.

commie.

### Aka the golden mean (-1, Informative)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152800)

For those who enjoy a bit of math, did you know that in the Metric paper system, the height-to-width ratio of all pages is the square root of 2?

This is called the golden mean [vashti.net] .

### Re:Aka the golden mean (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152923)

Nice troll. At least one sucker mod bit.

### RTFA - Redundant... (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152926)

Did you read the article before making that "observation"...?

### Re:Aka the golden mean (2, Informative)

#### NeoDragon (649184) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152940)

Wow...1.6180339887499 now is equal to root 2... Funny for as I can remeber root 2 was more like 1.4142135623730... Guess I need to alter ever calculator I own to correct their grevious error giving me the actual root of 2 so that they will give me your new fangled Golden mean instead...Or not...

### Re:Aka the golden mean (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152946)

Wasn't that the point of the article? And sqrt(2) = 1.41421356..., the golden ratio is 1.61803399...

Oh right. A troll.

### Re:Aka the golden mean (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152953)

for those of you that enjoy a little math:
square root(2) = 1.41421356
golden mean = 1.61803399

These two numbers are not the same.

NOT informative.
Phi != sqrt(2)

### Re:Aka the golden mean (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152960)

No it's not. The golden mean is (1 + sqrt(5))/2, or somewhere around 1.6. Your own link says it. sqrt(2) has the nice property that it's _close_ to the golden mean, while still preserving the doubling property, but it certainly isn't the golden mean.

### Re:Aka the golden mean (3, Informative)

#### odsign (535843) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152998)

No it's not. The golden mean is (1+sqrt(5))/2. That page you linked even says so.

### Paper airplanes (2, Informative)

#### incuso (747340) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152802)

The articles does not point out the fundamental fact that sqr(2) ratio is the best for paper airplanes :)

M.
--
http://incuso.altervista.org [altervista.org]

### Re:Paper airplanes (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152871)

Hey, can I quote you on this when I post this to /. ?

### Re:Paper airplanes (1)

#### incuso (747340) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152930)

I am not sure what you are meaning, but definitely my answer is an yes. Consider every my post as LGPLed.

M.
--
http://incuso.altervista.org [altervista.org]

### The Metric System Sucks!! (5, Funny)

#### USAPatriot (730422) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152803)

I am of the firm belief that the metric system sucks. It is a global conspiracy created to cause the downfall of all things that we know and love. Upon careful examination it is clear that the metric system is at least indirectly responsible for most of the world's problems, including but not limited to:

* Government conspiracy
* Microsoft Windows
* Rap Music
* Hondas and their drivers
* Transistors
* Pokemon
* Jerry Springer
* Televangelism
* Toxic waste
* The Republicans
* The Democrats
* Defective and bogus hardware
* Wrenches that dont fit
* Starbucks coffee
* Communism
* Soccer
* The Euro

### I will fight this metric paper with every OUNCE... (1, Funny)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152817)

I will fight this metric paper bedevilment with every OUNCE of courage I have.

### Re:I will fight this metric paper with every OUNCE (5, Funny)

#### Frothy Walrus (534163) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152981)

Now is that a solid ounce, a fluid ounce, or an apothecary ounce?

### Neat (0, Interesting)

#### Sarojin (446404) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152818)

Metric paper is cool. When I ran across another original article (about a year ago) about it, I went right out and bought some. Well, actually I didn't. Staples didn't carry it, and neither did WalMart or Office Max. The local stationers and office supply stores didn't even know what it was.

So then I tried the web. Not much luck there.

Called the 1-800-staples number. Asked the customer assistant for a ream of A4 paper (I'd order a box if necessary).

"A4 paper, hmmm, is that the big 11x17 stuff?"
"No, its metric size."
"Is that some kind of drafting paper?"
"No, its about the same size as letter paper."
"Oh, why don't you just use that?"

After making up some excuse about needed to product a document for a european customer, and international standards, I was transferred over to their "special needs" department, and then escalated through three levels of help there, where I finally found someone who knows more about paper than I do.

Tada, one ream of 8.27" by 11.69" paper.
Hammermill part number 10303-6. UPC 10199 00303

### Re:Neat (5, Funny)

#### the MaD HuNGaRIaN (311517) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152908)

did you get a box of 11.69" envelopes to go with that?

### Wow! (1)

#### Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152828)

> did you know that in the Metric paper system, the height-to-width ratio of all pages is the square root of 2? This means that you can place two sheets of A4 side-by-side and they will equal an A3 sheet exactly, and two sheets of A3 will equal an A2.

The metric square root of two has some amazing properties!

### It's official... (5, Funny)

#### Your_Mom (94238) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152829)

I can't deny it anymore.

I just read an article on metric pages and found it incredibly intresting.

At one point I said "Wow, Cool"

I think I've gone beyond 'geek'.

I feel dirty.

### is this metric? (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152831)

So, if I make paper with irrational numbers as dimensions this makes my paper metric?

### Pulp Numerology (3, Interesting)

#### Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152834)

Hey, if pulp numerology is your thing, look here. [virgin.net]

### Re:Pulp Numerology (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152942)

Why would anyone interested in numerology want to go look at a page about virgins?

(No, I didn't follow the link. I just looked at the server name.)

#### jdavidb (449077) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152839)

I had that explained to me in person in an excellent, unrelated presentation at YAPC 2002 [yapc.org] by Mark-Jason Dominus [plover.com] when he failed to follow his own advice [plover.com] .

### dum de dum de dum (-1, Offtopic)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152845)

hmmm slow news day eh?

### Of course... (2, Interesting)

#### Tyranny12 (717899) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152847)

Metric has those traits nearly universally, and we're seeing some aspects of the metric system more often in everyday life.

But the sheer cost in productivity of shifting to the metric system, when nearly every North American office and person has the SI system encoded on a near-genetic level, would be astronomical.
The US "failing to meet the expectations of the global economy" (see article) by using SI units of paper is a little extreme of a comment. Whatever it costs to deal with the differences, it would cost more to enforce unilateral mindset change - in money, time, and even more.
We'll just wait as the units slowly creep into more and more aspects of everyday life.

Then again... I work with engineers. I always see and hear these units.

### Re:Of course... (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152989)

..SI system encoded on a near-genetic level, would be astronomical...

Ya mean Imperial, right?

### If the brits managed to switch... (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152992)

...why can't the americans?

### Duh ! (2, Interesting)

#### totatis (734475) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152851)

Well, I don't want to sound rude, but 99% of the world knows that metric paper sizes (and all metric mesures for that matter) are way more clean and nice than stupid, outdatted empire and non-conventionnal mesures.
And for the anecdote about 2 sheets of A4 = 1 sheet of A3, I remember learning that in elementary school.

How is that *news* for nerds ? Metric paper sizes are here since before the oldest slashdotter was born !

Next stories : "It looks like the Persian were wrong ! Pi does not equal to (16/9) !", "New units discovered : the meter !"

### A1 (1)

#### revery (456516) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152852)

This means that you can place two sheets of A4 side-by-side and they will equal an A3 sheet exactly, and two sheets of A3 will equal an A2."

and if you put two sheets of A2 side by sidem, you've got America's favorite steak sauce...
Mmmmmm, Tommy likey metric system.

### Silly question for Americans... (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152858)

European sizes are brilliant - if you're printing an A5 leaflet, say, you can print the pages side by side on to A4 and just fold the paper in half. Likewise for A3 and A4. It's something you just take for granted. A0 is one square metre, everything else is a subdivision.

But... What do you Americans do? Do you have half-Legal and double-Legal? Or do you have to stick with a few, non-compatible sizes?

I've got an A3 colour printer. Quite impressive, but only if you know what A3 is. What's the equivalent paper size in the USA? Or do you just have to stick with teeny bits of paper?

### If you enjoy math.. (4, Funny)

#### teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152868)

remember that two 8 1/2 x 11 sheets equal an 11 x 17 sheet and four 4 x 5 cards can fit on a 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. A ream of paper is 500 sheets and if you divide that by two, you get 250 sheets which really means nothing; I needed two extra facts for my post about math.

### Shocker.... (1)

#### jmoen (169557) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152875)

I guess I've been living in a metric world to long but seeing /. explaing that a4 + a4 == a3 is like seeing /. explain that 2 + 2 == 4. :)

### More usefully... (4, Informative)

#### MartinG (52587) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152880)

you can place two sheets of A4 side-by-side and they will equal an A3 sheet exactly,

More usefully, you can fold an a4 piece of paper in half and it will fit nicely in an a5 envelope.

### Legal size (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9152883)

What's the use of legal size, other than being cumbersome? I know - some people like to impress others (form over substance) but dog poop wrapped in legal size paper smells as bad as it is in letter size paper.

### 2 x (8.5 x 11) = (11 x 17) (3, Funny)

#### MagnaMark (468484) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152890)

This clever side-by-side feature applies to the 8.5 x 11 (letter) and 11 x 17 sizes that are quite common in the US and Canada as well.

I'm not sure about "legal" paper and the rest.

And don't worry everyone, Microsoft is aware [microsoft.com] of the problem! To quote: "The paper sizes in the United States and Canada (such as letter, legal, and so on) do not satisfy the needs of all users in the world market."

Fear not! They'll solve this problem by embracing and extending the ISO paper-size standard. The new sizes will be MS-A4, MS-A3, etc. Of couse, you will only be able to print to these pages from MS apps, but what else is there?
< / slashdot obligatory off-topic M\$ bashing for karma>

### the metric system is fun (5, Funny)

#### revery (456516) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152896)

This means that you can place two sheets of A4 side-by-side and they will equal an A3 sheet exactly, and two sheets of A3 will equal an A2."

And of course, 5 sheets of almost any metric sized paper folded into origami lions will inevitably merge to form Voltron, a robot so powerful that it will usually let it's enemies kick it's butt around for a good 15 to 20 minutes before it forms the blazing sword and finishes the fight.

### The Golden Ratio (1)

#### David Saxton (725580) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152898)

The ratio of the side lengths is actually (1 + sqrt(5))/2, not sqrt(2).

### Yes... it's your damn fault! (4, Insightful)

#### Cloud K (125581) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152899)

For those of us living in A4-using lands, it's a real pain in the arse trying to set everything (especially in Windows) from Letter to A4! Then you think you have it susses and sure enough... "PC Load Letter" - aaargh!

Do you have any idea how much trouble and stress you've caused by making Letter the default even with UK set as the country? ;)

### Re:Yes... it's your damn fault! (1)

#### BBird (664014) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152999)

For this you have of course to thank of friend Gate\$ and its supeiror software.

### What does the "A" Stand for? (1)

#### beatleadam (102396) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152917)

...A4 paper size option in our printer trays and in printer preference menus...

Actually a pretty interesting article. It really reminded me of the type of material that 'Ole Cliffy Clavin [imdb.com] would be reading on a regular basis :-)

But seriously, after reading the whole article I see not mention as to what the "A" stands for?

### Only on /. (1, Funny)

#### DR SoB (749180) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152919)

Would a metric discussion of PAPER be taken this far/seriously.. Only on /.

This is stuff that matters? Too WHO?!

To whom.

### Re:Only on /. (1)

#### DR SoB (749180) | more than 9 years ago | (#9153007)

Bah no doubt you bought that UID on Ebay.. I mean who has a 5 digit UID with no Karma bonus?!

### Harmony door (1)

#### BBird (664014) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152949)

I think this special proportion 1:sqr(2) was fisrt discovered by the Old Greeks who called it the "Door of Harmony" or something of the kind.

### metric will win in the end (4, Interesting)

#### garglblaster (459708) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152952)

This is my personal opinion, however:

I think the metric system is like Open Source:
It's going to win in the long run -
simply because it's the logical way to go!

If you look at the evolution of things, there have always been different ways of doing stuff, but in the end one of them won - simply because it was undeniably the best way to go - and the others lost out..

### Metric Printing (1)

#### AnomalyConcept (656699) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152974)

I know this may be deviating a little bit from the topic, but what about metric labels?

Most label manufacturers (eg. Avery) have labels, and not all of them are 'intuitive' dimensions. Perhaps the same ideas would carry over?

### Actually not used EVERYWHERE (1)

#### curri (107175) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152976)

In Mexico, we use letter size most of the time (and we do use the metric system).

I don't know what other countries do, but I don't think metric paper sizes are as widely used as the metric system in general.

### I can finally die (1)

#### jrf83317 (622072) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152995)

I can finally die now that I know this very useful piece of information.

Thank you SOOOO Much for wasting my time!!

### As a European, I like 'letter' (2, Informative)

#### Peter Cooper (660482) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152996)

Okay, this is entirely cosmetic, but I actually prefer the look of Letter sized paper to A4. A4 is so skinny and tall, whereas Letter seems more proportional and better for letters (no pun intended).

### Metric system? (1)

#### JUSTONEMORELATTE (584508) | more than 9 years ago | (#9152997)

Metric system?!?
Go away! We like our rulers!

Thomas Jefferson once said that the people get the rulers they deserve.

--

### Who Cares? (1)

#### Wicked187 (529065) | more than 9 years ago | (#9153004)

The rest of the world needs to get over it's superiority complex and just follow suite. Duh.
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