Paper Sizes – Advice Please.

Sat, 5 Dec 2015

As a European I use A4 paper size for my paper model design. A4 is 210 x 297mm, in the USA the standard size for paper is letter size. Amercians use ye olde inches for their measurements so letter size is defined as 8.5 x 11 inches.
I had an email from subscriber Maer who teaches in a middle school in San Francisco. She says:

"question: Do you have any tips for printing your templates out on US Letter? The tricky part seems to be the double-sided pages which do not align correctly front and back."

I don’t have much experience with letter size paper so I wondered if anyone out there could offer any advice? If you can please leave your
comments below – thanks!

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Comments (7)

  • cool022883 December 5, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    not sure what the issue is

    not sure what the issue is but it must be an alignment issue with her printer.i use letter size paper and front and back print out aligned for me.i just print the pdf file with the scaling set to actual size and it works for me

    • umehta December 5, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      Thank you Cool, it has been a

      Thank you Cool, it has been a quiet since a while. When I print it, especially gears, I print it to size.

      In my printer I get an option which says "Actual Size" when I choose it it pretty much works fine (except when I have a jam issue – but you can blame my printer for that and not the paper size!). For double sided print, there are two options. One is, Flip on long edge and other is Flip on short edge. I choose Flip on long edge and again it works fine. However, to save ink, I often don't print on both the sides because Rob's paper model look equally good even if printed on one side. The inner side is either hidden or not noticed heavily but again it is a choice one has to make.

  • maxlrainer December 6, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Hi Rob,
    fortunatly I do

    Hi Rob,


    fortunatly I do have a rest of letter sheets (a remnant of the former US Army station nearby).

    So I tried out. The test item was the file "The Dog Ate My Homework", pages 14-15.

    I printed the pages on my Canon iP3600 bubblejet printer, using Acrobat Reader X and PDF Exchange Viewer 2.0 . I didn' t make any adjustments. And I didn't scale the file (Actual size). I printed the first page and than flipped over the sheet and printed the second page.

    As a result I got a sheet with perfect aligned front and back in each case (as I understand, cool does it the same way).

    I couldn't try duplex print, because my printer doesn't support this. I think umetha's way works well.


    Best wishes


    • maer-phs December 7, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      Thanks, everyone! I’ll try

      Thanks, everyone! I'll try using "actual size". I think my Mac's proclivity is to scale by default in the print settings, so this makes sense.


      • maer-phs December 7, 2015 at 7:26 pm

        I also ordered some 65lbs A4

        I also ordered some 65lbs A4 sized cardstock just in case, but it was incredibly difficult to find!

        I'm absolutely determined to get at least a few of my students building some of these mechanical models.

        • maer-phs December 9, 2015 at 5:37 pm

          Printing at 100% scale seems

          Printing at 100% scale seems to fix the problem. Thanks for your help!

          That is good advice for people using A4 size as well, thanks you everybody for your input- RI

        • JohnW February 29, 2016 at 1:51 pm

          I don’t know if you


          I don't know if you will read this or not but to those who do you can always go to your local print shop and have them cut A4 sized paper for you. If I remember correctly it didn't seem that much to have them cut it opposed to buying it.. However, I don't think I have ever needed A4 sheets to print out Rob's models. BTW, A4 sized paper converts to 8.27 X 11.69 inches if you need to tell them a measurement.

          Take Care,


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