A3 vs A4 Size Paper Differences and Why It Matters

1800 Office SOlutions Team member - Elie Vigile
1800 Team

A3 vs A4 Size Paper

As a print specialist, you are aware that A3 and A4 are two different sizes of paper. These two paper sizes are used for different printing needs, and understanding the difference between A3 and A4 is important when buying an A4 or A3 printer, copier, or multifunction device (MFP).

The international standard for paper sizes is ISO 216, which is based on the square root of 2. This series of paper sizes is used in most countries, including A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, and A0. A4 size has been the most common paper size since the 1980s. It measures 210 mm x 297 mm or 8.27 x 11.69 inches. A3 size paper is double the size of A4, measuring 297 mm x 420 mm or 11.69 x 16.54 inches. A3 print size measures 420 mm x 594 mm or 16.54 x 23.39 inches. So, if you need to print on a variety of paper sizes, including A3, you’ll need to look for an A3 printer.

A3 vs A4 Size Paper

What Is A3 vs A4 Size Paper?

Transitioning from the basics, let’s move on to the differences between A3 and A4 paper sizes. A3 is double the size of the standard A4 paper size, measuring 297 mm x 420 mm (11.69 x 16.53 inches) – roughly equivalent to ledger or tabloid size paper (11 x 17 inches) in the United States. On the other hand, A4 paper size measures 210 mm x 297 mm (8.27 x 11.69 inches), slightly larger than the American standard letter size paper at 8.5 x 11 inches.

The A3 size paper is ideal for printing large documents such as posters and banners, while the A4 size paper is a great choice for printing day-to-day documents such as letters, invoices, and reports. A3 and A4 devices are designed to handle different paper sizes – A3 devices can print A3 and A4 sizes, while A4 machines can only print A4 size sheets. Both A3 and A4 printers can handle smaller paper sizes like A5, but A3 printers are better equipped to handle larger paper sizes like legal size. Multi-function printers (MFPs) can also print in A3 and A4 sizes, depending on the model.

Which is bigger A3 or A4?

A3 paper size is larger than A4. In fact, A3 is double the size of A4, which is commonly used as standard letter-sized paper. Printers capable of handling A3 paper can print on these larger sheets, equivalent to the size of a small poster. A3 is larger than A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, A9, and A10, but it is only half the size of A2.

Are u.s. Printers Compatible with A3 and A4 Paper?

As businesses and home offices step into the modern era of office technology, it is important to consider the size of their printing needs. Choosing between an A3 or A4 printer can be a tricky process, but being aware of the differences between these two paper sizes can help make the decision easier.

A3 is a paper size that is typically twice the size of A4 and is used for larger-scale printing needs. A4, on the other hand, is the standard size of paper used in most countries and is the base for all other paper sizes included in the ISO 216 series. A sheet of A4 measures 8.27” x 11.69”, and a sheet of A3 size print measures 11.69” x 16.54”.

A3 printers can print up to 11” x 17” (ledger/tabloid size) and can handle smaller paper sizes, including A4 sheets. A4 multifunction printers (MFPs) can print up to 8.5” x 14” (legal size). A3 machines are equipped with more paper drawers, paper trays, and finishing options than A4 copiers, and can often cut a sheet of A3 paper into multiple A4 sheets.

A3 vs. A4 Size Printer Considerations

When it comes to the differences between A4 and A3 printers, there are a few key considerations that should be made. Paper sizes that are used in most countries are based on the ISO 216 standard, where A4 is the standard size, measuring 210 x 297 mm, but A3 is twice the size at 420 x 297 mm.

This larger size allows for larger print sizes, as well as the potential to print a full-sized booklet on one sheet of paper. Additionally, A3 devices can print on a variety of other paper sizes, including A5, legal size, and more, opening up more options for larger projects.

Paper Sizes

Transitioning from the topic of U.S. printer compatibility with A3 and A4 paper, we now consider A3 vs. A4 size printer considerations. When it comes to paper sizes, A3 printers can print up to ledger size, which is 11 x 17 inches, while A4 only prints up to legal size, 8.5 x 14 inches. This difference in size can make a big impact on the type of printing needs a business may have. For example, if you need to print documents larger than A4 size or if you need to print documents with an aspect ratio like A5 paper, then an A3 MFP may be your best bet.

Small businesses may opt for an A4 MFP due to its smaller size and lower total cost of ownership, but larger businesses should look for an A3 printer to handle their smaller paper sizes as well as larger documents. Ultimately, the decision comes down to the type of documents and paper sizes that are used, as well as the office technology a business needs.

Printer Size

When it comes to printer size, the difference between A4 and A3 is quite stark. A3 printers are larger, more durable machines, while A4 is a smaller, more compact and light-duty machine. If you need to print on a variety of paper sizes, like A3-sized paper, then you will definitely need an A3 printer.

It is also worth noting that the area of A4 is almost half of A3. So, if you need to print large documents, like legal size paper, an A3 is better suited for the task, as it can handle larger paper sizes and generally offer more features. Additionally, if you need a printer to handle heavier duty tasks like saddle stitching or folding, then an A3 is also a better bet.

Printer Capabilities

When looking at the capabilities of an A3 vs A4 printer, it’s important to consider the type of tasks you need to do. A3 copiers are designed to handle the most demanding printing jobs. They have a larger paper capacity, can print on a variety of paper sizes and offer a wide range of finishing options. A4 might be suitable for smaller jobs and tasks such as printing of documents, flyers, and brochures. A4 printers usually have a smaller paper capacity and limited finishing options.

When it comes to choosing between an A3 or A4 printer, consider your overall printing needs. For example, if you need to print on a variety of larger paper sizes, you may need to look for an A3 printer. On the other hand, if you mainly print on standard A4 paper, then an A4 printer should suffice. It’s also important to factor in the total cost of ownership when making a decision.

How Much Do A3 Printers Cost?

When it comes to selecting the right printer for your office, understanding the difference between A3 and A4 sizes is important. But, in addition to size, the cost of an A3 printer should also be taken into consideration. A3 machines have a higher up-front cost than A4 machines but are generally more cost effective in the long run since their operational costs are lower.

How Much Do A3 Printers Cost

The total cost of ownership for an A3 printer is determined by the printer’s usage. If your office prints and copies fewer than 4,500 pages a month, then an A4 machine is likely to be the most cost effective. However, if your monthly print volume is greater than 4,500 pages, then an A3 printer might be a better fit. In addition, if your office produces full-color, bound, and stapled marketing materials, then an A3 device is the best choice.

Our Print Specialists are able to help you find the best printer for your office, taking into consideration both size and cost. We also offer leasing options that fit within your budget. By selecting the right machine for your printing needs, you can reduce your monthly operating costs and ensure your office is as efficient as possible.


When it comes to printing, A3 and A4 paper sizes come into play. Choosing between an A3 and A4 printer can be a difficult decision. A3 paper is twice the size of A4 paper and can be used for a variety of printing needs such as posters, large documents, and booklet printing. A3 printers are more expensive than A4 printers, however, the additional cost can be offset if you need to frequently print large-scale documents.

Additionally, A3 devices typically offer finishing options and can handle smaller paper sizes, including A4. When deciding between an A3 and A4 printer, consider your printing needs, available office technology, and the total cost of ownership. With the right printer, you can easily and affordably print on a variety of paper sizes.

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