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US letter: Generate US letter size instead of A4

I need to print on 8½″ by 11″ paper, not A4. How do I set this as the default paper size?


Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press

The ISO 216 paper size system is used everywhere except Canada, Mexico and the USA. The A series of paper formats is defined as:

  • height ÷ width = √2 (the aspect ratio is constant)
  • A0 has an area of 1m2
  • cutting An in half at the mid point of the longer sides creates 2 sheets of A(n+1)

A4 paper is 210×297 mm, which is 6 mm narrower and 18 mm taller than the equivalent US letter size of 8½″ by 11″. Wikipublisher ships with the paper size set to A4 by default. If your site is catering exclusively to a north American audience, you may prefer to set your wiki’s default to US letter. The default is under the control of the pagesize variable on the Site group template pages: Book Template, Calendar Template, Letter Template, Print Template, Publish Template, Search Template. Under “Page size” change (*A4;A5;US | US letter) to (A4;A5;*US | US letter) and save the changes. The Wikibook typesetting server will automatically resize the text area, including any images, when a reader selects a paper size other than the default.

The constant aspect ratio of the A series of sizes means that we can use a photocopier to shrink A3 to A4 or magnify A4 to A3, without changing the margins. This feature is generally not available on north American copiers, where different paper sizes have different aspect ratios.

Markus Kuhn’s essay on international standard paper sizes is a treasure trove of interesting and useful information.

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Page last modified on 25 October 2007 at 02:29 PM