A3, A4, and A5 Photo Paper – Learn the Differences in the Sizes

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Updated November 17, 2022

There are numerous paper sizes for your popular printer, each with its specific use case scenarios. Many of these paper sizes are categorized as being part of the A Series.


  • A Series paper is a subcategory of printer paper that is available in multiple sizes that have been designated by the ISO 216 standard.
  • A4 printer paper is 8-1/4 x 11-¾ inches or 210 x 297 millimeters and typically prints out glossy or matte photos.
  • This printer size is also especially common for use with normal everyday printing tasks, such as printing letters or business stationery.

What is the A Series?

A Series printer paper refers to a number of different sizes that all meet certain criteria. When you are discussing A-Series printer paper, it is essential to understand how the sizes are calculated. These paper sizes have been defined by the ISO 216 standard and must meet the following criteria. Although, if you’re just curious about the best paper for a laser printer, we have a guide for that, too.

  • The length divided by the width is 1.4142.
  • The A0 size has an area of 1 square meter.
  • Each subsequent size A(n) is defined as A(n-1) cut in half parallel to its shorter sides.
  • Each size’s standard length and width are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

A4 paper, for instance, can come in a variety of thicknesses but will offer the same dimensions across the subcategory. A4 paper is 8-1/4 x 11-¾ inches or 210 x 297 millimeters. This size makes it extraordinarily useful in a number of settings. An all-in-one printer has different functionalities found with inkjet printers, laser printers, fax machines, scanners, and copy printers.

Now top photo printers can sometimes be found in all-in-one printers. And they typically require high-yield printer ink and ADF, so they can print many pictures. Plus, many of these printer types will offer the ability to scan a photo from a printer to your computer, if you want to edit it further before printing.

Insider Tip

A4 paper is 8-1/4 x 11-¾ inches or 210 x 297 millimeters.

The Uses of A4 Printer Paper

A4 paper will be instantly recognizable to a number of consumers, thanks to its popularity. This paper is useful in a wide array of applications, including printing on photo paper. More are detailed below.

Photo Reproductions

The primary use case for A4 printer paper is for making high-grade reproductions of photographs and images. A4 paper is essentially the standard when it comes to making copies of photos. A4 photo paper is available in both glossy and matte formats, making it the perfect choice for most budding photo enthusiasts. Of course, before purchasing dedicated photo paper, you should make sure that your printer can use it. Check the instruction manual or go to the manufacturer’s web portal.

Letters and Forms

A4 is the standard size for most letters, forms, and related pieces of documentation found in the United States. A4 paper is commonly used for everyday printing tasks, thanks to its ubiquitous size. Most modern printers have been designed with A4 paper in mind, so you should have no problem using it with your printer. Still, do some research ahead of time to be sure, as some printers that have been designed for A3 paper cannot use A4 paper. If you are using a laser, read this detailed guide to understand what a waste toner cartridge is.

Insider Tip

A4 paper is essentially the standard when it comes to making copies of photos.


What sizes of printer paper are available?

Many different sizes of printer paper are available to suit a wide variety of consumers and their individual needs. There is A Series paper, B Series paper, and many more subcategories.

Can all printers use A4 printer paper?

In most cases, yes, though you should check ahead of time. For instance, certain printers that have been purpose-built to use A3 paper may not integrate well with A4 paper.

Can I use A4 paper to print out school essays?

A4 printer paper is often used to print out school essays and other educational materials.

STAT: A4 size documents have to be copied or printed with a 94% magnification factor to fit on the 6% less tall “Letter” paper, and “Letter” documents have to be printed with 97% size to fit on the 3% less wide A4 format. (source)

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