Plotter printers

Understanding Plotter Printer Paper Sizes

What Are the Standard Plotter Printer Paper Sizes?

Plotter printers, A1 printers, come in many different shapes and sizes, and the different sizes of paper can be hard to figure out. It seems that different industries have different letters and numbers that they use to identify their paper sizes, and that doesn’t even consider things like roll width, roll length, paper weight, and core diameter.

So how do we best describe plotter printer sizes? Let’s get into the actual paper sizes first, and then we’ll move on to the trickier bits.

Exploring Different Plotter Paper Rolls and Sizes

Plotter paper sizes come in three basic categories: US Architectural Drawings: Standard Sizes; US Engineering Drawings: Standard Sizes; and ISO (International Standards Organization) Sheet Sizes. Sometimes US Letter Sizes will also be used in large-format printers. These all can range from the very small to the very large, and generally the paper will come in the form of a plotter paper roll for wide-format printers and large-format printers rather than as sheets.

Here Are the Various Plotter Paper Sizes:

US Architectural Drawings: Standard Sizes
Style Size
ARCH A 9 x 12 inches
ARCH B 12 x 18 inches
ARCH C 18 x 24 inches
ARCH D 24 x 36 inches
ARCH E 36 x 48 inches

US Engineering Standard Sizes
Style Size
ANSI A 8.5 x 11 inches
ANSI B 11 x 17 inches
ANSI C 17 x 22 inches
ANSI D 22 x 34 inches
ANSI E 34 x 44 inches

ISO (International Standards Organization) Sheet Sizes
Style Size
A0 33.11 x 46.81 inches
A1 23.39 x 33.11 inches
A2 16.54 x 22.23 inches
A3 11.69 x 16.54 inches
A4 8.27 x 11.69 inches

US Letter Sizes
Style Size
A 8.5 x 11 inches
B 11 x17 inches
C 17 x 22 inches
D 22 x 34 inches
E 34 x 44 inches
F 28 x 40 inches

Plotter Paper Roll Sizes

Plotter paper rolls come in a variety of lengths and widths. Generally speaking, the plotter will plot the drawing on the paper, and then will slice the paper to size to make a perfect cut.

Common Roll Widths
The most common widths for plotter printer paper are 11, 17, 18, 22, 24, 30, 34, 36, and 42 inches. With very few exceptions, plotters will only be designed to use one width of paper.

So, for example, a plotter that prints on 42-inch paper will not be able to cut that down to a narrower width–the paper will always be 42 inches wide. It will be able to adjust the paper in the other dimension, however, so you could print a 42-inch x 28-inch drawing or a 42-inch x 36-inch drawing.

Also note that the plotted drawing will come out of the printer in the format that is most conducive to the style of drawing: A plotter that carries rolls of 36” paper will be able to plot a drawing that is 36” x 48” (ARCH E) or 34” x 44” (ANSI E), as well as all of the plotter paper sizes smaller than these.

Common Roll Lengths
The length of the plotter paper rolls will typically be 150, 300, or 500 feet. The roll length will depend on the capacity of the printer, and on the weight of the paper. (Papers with heavier weights will be thicker and the rolls will be shorter.

Core Diameter
Every plotter will have a designated core diameter, which is the tube or plastic form that the paper is wound around. Both 2-inch cores and 3-inch cores are common.


As we've mentioned, plotter printers and A1 printers come in many different shapes and sizes, and the different sizes of paper can be hard to figure out. There are many elements to consider such as plotter paper roll width, plotter paper roll length, paper weight, and core diameter.

If you still have further questions about plotter paper sizes, please get in touch with us and we can help you understand the best paper choice for your needs.

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