PDF Paper size - summary

Subject: PDF Paper size - summary
From: Pete Kloppenburg <pkloppen -at- CERTICOM -dot- CA>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 15:49:55 -0400

I asked earlier this week about PDFs and US Standard
vs European paper sizes. Specifically, I was interested in any
possible problems with printing a PDF formatted to 8 1/2 by 11 with
the narrower A4 paper.

Two folks responded saying they had had experience with this. And
that yes, it is a problem. Most people suggested designing the document
to have wide margins, so that anything that got cropped would be only
white space.

Frankly, I still haven't found a really satisfactory solution. The wide
margin thing is out because I had the hubris to design the page to
have full-page bleeds on the top outside corners. These function as
tabs and allow a reader to find a particular function (it's a programmer's
reference) quickly by thumbing the pages. So wide margins don't really

I had thought for a thrilling second that I could solve my problem by
going in the opposite direction. Since I
was doing full page bleeds on two edges, I had to print on oversized
paper and have it cut down anyway. So I thought hey, why not design the
page to 8 1/4 inches wide, which will fit within an A4 page. That way
nothing gets cropped at all. If you print the PDF on letter-size, you get a
1/4 inch space between the bleed as designed for the print copies and
the actual edge of the paper. That's fine, because I don't think there
exists a laser printer that will print right to the edge of a page anyway-
they all leave a (you guessed it) quarter inch gap.

BUT - Europeans printing on A4 will lose half the tab. AND we have some
pre-printed tab sheets which separate the three books shipped in the
one binder. Those can't be cut back a quarter inch to match a new page

So, in summary, I'm still up the creek.

Thank you all for your help. It was a good exercise in the complications
of printing for an international audience, if nothing else.

Pete Kloppenburg - pkloppen -at- certicom -dot- com
Technical Writer
Mississauga, Ontario

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