Things that have bothered you for a long time.

youngoldbloke

The older I get, the faster I used to be ...
Paper sizes: why is

A4210 x 297 mm8.268 x 11.693 inches

for example, instead of more convenient dimensions, say 200 x 300 mm ?
 

Profpointy

Legendary Member
Paper sizes: why is

A4210 x 297 mm8.268 x 11.693 inches

for example, instead of more convenient dimensions, say 200 x 300 mm ?
The boring answer is the A series of paper has edges in the proportion 1 x sq-root 2. This is necessary if you want two of one size put side by side to equal the next size up. Thus the long side of A4 = short side of A3 and so two A4 sheets side by side are the same size as an A3. The series starts with A0 which is 1 square metre total area and the odd-seeming sizes stem from this. The B series uses the same proportions but B0 is 1m x sq-root 2m. Square root of two is about 1.414.

You can't do this with the older standards. Whilst you can fold a "folio" into 2 to give "quarto" or fold again into "octo" they are all differently proportioned rectangles.
 
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