[rfc-i] A4 and 8.5x11 (was: Re: draft-rfc-editor-rfc2223bis-08.txt)

John C Klensin john at jck.com
Mon Jan 31 16:04:27 PST 2005

Folks, if memory serves me correctly, there is actually an ISO
Standard that specifies print area dimensions for documents that
might be printed on either paper form.  It is based, to all
intents and purposes, on the width of A4 and the 11 inch length
of the North American size.  My vague recollection is that at
least the earliest versions of Postscript had provisions for it
and that drivers were supposed to do the right thing, partially
because the Postscript itself specified "new page" functions in
the right places.  While anything is possible, I don't imagine
those capabilities have been removed.

So, if we are going to go down this path, it would be good to
dig that spec out and just use it, rather than inventing a new
set of norms of our own.


On Mon, 24 Jan 2005 19:17:46 +0900, Martin Duerst
<duerst at w3.org>  wrote:

> There are large areas of the world where 8 1/2 by 11 paper is
> not available, but A4 paper is easily available.
> This leads to two issues:
> 1) Some Postscript drivers check for paper size in a way that
>     makes it impossible to output the resulting Postscript file
>     on other paper sizes without hacking the Postscript with
>     a text editor. Other Postscript drivers are more tolerant.
>     The replacement of RFC 2223 should say that Postscript
> should     be produced in such a way as to print even on
> slightly different     paper sizes.
> At 05:35 05/01/23, Bruce Lilly wrote:
>  >Text and PostScript versions could be made identical if the
>  >PostScript Format Rules were revised to use (8.5 - 7.2)/2
>  >or 0.65 inch left and right margins and (11 - 9 2/3)/2 or
>  >2/3 inch top and bottom margins on 8.5 x 11 inch paper.
> 2) A4 is longer but narrower than 8 1/2 by 11. This raises
>     the question whether 7.2 inches will fit on an A4 page.
>     7.2 inches is 18.288 cm. The width of an A4 page is
>     21 cm. That means 2.712 cm of white space, or 1.356 cm
>     on each side, or roughly -0.534 inches. Not very much
>     in particular in terms of aestethics, but probably okay
>     for most printers.
> Regards,    Martin. 
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