TIL the USA and Canada don't use A4 sized paper, but instead uses Letter sized as their standard which is 8.5 inches by 11 inches.

  1. I work at a European university, and the whole administration department haven‘t figured this out yet. 90% of our forms, contracts, whatever comes in US letter. Luckily, they‘re similar enough to print just fine on A4.

  2. Cause it's not safe for work to put A4 in a machine which requires letter size. The paper tray might jam!! That's not safe at all!

  3. Here I thought it was a joke about work haha. Because at work you print stuff... sometimes with different sized paper from other countries that breaks your printer

  4. Reddit will automatically mark it NSFW if its AI/algorithm says so. I don't have the link to the post announcing that feature but it was added less than a year ago.

  5. 8.5 x 11 is used fairly regularly in the legal profession. In my experience (family law paralegal in NC), I've never used Legal paper, only Letter

  6. Lots of people in your comments that don't seem to understand that laws and legal documents are different state-to-state. Everyone just wants to argue with you that "legal size isn't common."

  7. And it used to be such an issue that many manufacturers added "Ignore Letter Size" as an option on printers because whenever someone downloaded and printed a Letter sized document on a printer configured for A4 it would halt and show the

  8. Mmmm. Yeah. That's it, that's exactly what I need. Uh huh, give it to me! Come on you little fucker let's go! You like that? Yeah, that's what I need, let's do that, let's do EXACTLY THAT!

  9. More like TIL North America uses a different scheme for paper sizes than the rest of the world. See also: Temperature, Distance, Mass, etc etc

  10. This isn't the best way to word it imo, the A series doubles in area each iteration, and also rotates, so two portrait-oriented A4's make a landscape A-3 etc.

  11. American graphic designer here. I totally get the appeal of the A series sizing (although I don't understand why A4 isn't something nice and even like 200×300mm).

  12. I still remember how relieved (and a little embarrassed) I felt after finding out "PC load letter" didn't mean some missing font, but the paper size.

  13. I was today years old when I learned other countries don’t use 8.5x11 paper. I don’t know how this never clicked given the paper is measured in inches lol.

  14. And every single printer has about a half dozen places to set default paper size, and if you don't set them all, in the right order...

  15. Canadian here. I'm very tempted to special order some A4 paper and replace the paper in all the printers in the office.

  16. We only do this so we can say “PC Load Letter, what the [email protected]#$ does that mean ?” and proceed to beat the printer to death with a baseball bat in a field.

  17. Another fun paper fact - the Weight rating of paper refers to the total weight of one ream (500 sheets) of uncut paper stock. So for a typical ream of letter-size paper, standard weight is 20lb. The ream itself only weighs 5lbs - because the paper is manufactured in 11 x 17" sheets, and for letter size is cut into quarters.

  18. TIL that 8.5 x 11 isn’t standard. But I should have guessed that considering that that measurement is in inches … 🤦‍♂️

  19. Weirdly, there are international standards that don't fit nicely into metric (like the 20-foot and 40-foot shipping container, which are 8 feet wide and 8.5 or 9.5 feet high) and ones that don't fit into metric or imperial (like the standard railroad gauge, which is 4'8.5" or 1435 mm).

  20. As a graphic designer this is SUPER FUN designing for a client with a business in Australia and US 🫠

  21. Oh, Canada. Can't decide if we want to use metric or imperial so we end up using metric for everything except water/body temperature and body weight, plus apparently paper sizes.

  22. Haha same in the UK we use miles per hour and miles per gallon but we pay for our fuel in pence per litre.

  23. There’s many other things we use imperial for as well. Many tools and trade measurements, golfing, measuring lot size (acreage), often cooking, etc. It’s incredibly annoying and I hate that there is no logical reasoning behind it when someone from a foreign country asks about it.

  24. Haha same in the UK we use miles per hour and miles per gallon but we pay for our fuel in pence per litre.

  25. If 8-1/2” x 11” paper was good enough for the US Constitution and the original Bible, it’s good enough for me.

  26. As many people have mentioned, the problem with this is that it doesn't keep the same ratio. You have to go up 2 sizes to get the same ratio. So whenever you are working with anything that you want to be able to print in multiple sizes you are somewhat limited.

  27. TIL I learned I was slightly annoyed by standard sizes in the US for using half inches while the people who came up with the "A" system decided to go with an irrational number, i.e. square root of two.

  28. The imperial system is just a bunch of unknown variables so we use the true US measuring system because everyone knows how long a dog's tail is and how tall a milk jug is.

  29. We also use fingers, feet, elbows, and knees to measure distance. One foot is 2 12/129 of one elbow is 13 37/91 of a finger. Our system is very intuitive and fantastic.

  30. Today I learned that letter size was not some sort of standard size around the world as I had assumed

  31. Being Canadian sucks. We follow some UK standards, some American standards, but you can never tell which at the moment.

  32. I do not understand why in USA they measure time by seconds, minutes and hours instead of hiccups, naps and reels

  33. Worked at an IT company for a decade, their shitty shitty company software (that you install on new computers all the time as staff trades up) always used "Letter" as default print size, and so many hundreds of printouts over the years had to be tossed because the entire adress and contact info block at the bottom of bills and stationary got put on a new page 2.

  34. TIL that the rest of the world DOESN'T use letter sized paper as its standard... So THAT'S what all those different sizes on the printer are for 😳

  35. Yeah I hate it. They use A4 in Japan. I miss having sheets of paper exactly half the size of the next size of paper. It's so simple and easy to use.

  36. For any standard the world has adopted, North America stubbornly made up their own uses something else.

  37. Letter size has been around since at least the 1800s, whereas A4 wasn't even standardized in some European countries until the middle of the 20th century.

  38. TIL I learned there are enough non Americans on Reddit for this to get into my feed AND all the top few comments aren’t American. Refreshing.

  39. As someone from the USA, I didn't know about A4 until I bought a 3d printer and said to use a sheet of it to calibrate the printer. Blew my mind, ngl

  40. A4 Paper isn’t standard in North America, but is still widely available in stores. You can buy it basically anywhere that sells printers.

  41. We also use legal 8.5x 15 tabloid 11x17 and i use architectural size c d and e. Which are 18 x 24, 24 x 36 and 36 x 48.

  42. I mostly use B5, B6, and A5 in my daily life. I never liked letter/legal sized paper here and when I started journaling regularly I learned about the paper sizes and boy...what a revelation. (Am an American if it counts for anything)

  43. And, if you want A4 sized paper in the US for some reason it's actually kind of a pain to get (at least for decent weight, brightness, price). Better now than last time I had to look 20 years ago, but still not really readily available.

  44. Uhh, yeah duh nods like I haven’t thought A4 paper was just a funny thing the printer said my whole life

  45. Um, duh? lol what is A4? Sorry, am American and to me knowing a sheet of paper is 8.5”x11” is the same as knowing a ruler is 12”. Ofc I know we’re the only losers who use inches. 😂🤦🏻‍♂️

  46. USA and Canada use the weight of the full pre-cut reams to identify the thickness of the paper. Do metric system countries measure paper thickness in the same way but with kilograms?

  47. I remember someone posted on here a while back who honestly believed 8.5×11 and 11×8.5 were marketed in the US as two different sizes of paper

  48. Letter size is a few inches shorter than A4. This means documents from rest of the world NEVER fit comfortably in US folders. Arrrrrrrrrgh!

  49. Imperial was great when doing stuff mentally or by hand. 12 divides easily by 2,3,4 and 6 whereas 10 only by 2 and 5.

  50. The problem isn't counting to ten, it's stopping at ten instead of going on to twelve [inches in a foot], sixteen [ounces in a pound], or five thousand eighty [feet in a mile].

  51. What are you talking about? Write a letter on letter sized paper. That's the normal sane thing to do. Why would you have a different size? Just speak American like normal.

  52. And if you’ve ever held the opposite size to your normal it feels really odd to hold your hands just slightly “wrong” distance apart.

  53. Once again. The rest of the world making things needlessly complicated instead of just using the same sized paper we always have.

  54. I can't tell if this is a dig at north america or everywhere else because pretty much everywhere else uses A4.

  55. I am an ardent supporter of the US/Imperial system. That being said, I also own a printing company. The biggest problem with the US paper sizing is that when you cut paper in half—for instance cut Tabloid in half to make Letter, the aspect ratio of the paper changes. If someone wants something enlarged or reduced, it won’t fill the page properly.

  56. We don’t have an equivalent, at least not in common use. We use letter (8.5x11), legal (8.5x14), and tabloid (11x17) (measurements in inches, sorry). It’s possible printing companies use other sizes as well, but they are not in common, every day life in the US.

  57. I'd say 95% of our stuff is printed on 8½×11, and in my profession (engineering) everything else is on 11×17, which is sort of the same as your A4 → A3 (the long size becomes the short side for the next size up; two of the smaller ones make up the larger).

  58. "Respect differences in other cultures... unless it's America! Feel free to mock them no matter how insignificant the issue!"

  59. Having lived both in places that use letter sized and A4, I think the A series sizing is really elegant and cool. But I have to admit that I find letter sized to be more aesthetically pleasing. The size of a line of text on A4 seems cramped. I wonder if anyone else feels the same?

  60. Almost all paper you get here for printers, copiers, etc is “letter” 8.5 x 11 or “Legal” 8.5 x 14 and sometimes we use 11x17 at work for printing drawings

  61. Wow…. TIL that letter is not the standard size of paper anywhere else in the world. I try to be better than this, I try not to be trapped in my little American bubble. But this one was definitely surprising! Thanks for the enlightenment!

  62. Yeah, just like the strange date format. When there's a much better way of doing something that the rest of the world are already doing, you'd think they would have standardised it by now.

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