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Plotter Printer Paper Size Chart & Roll Sizes: Specs to Know Before Ordering

Before buying plotter paper for your inkjet printer or xerographic copier, it’s important to understand a few specifications related to plotter paper roll sizes. The type of plotter paper roll size you need will depend on the specific model of wide format inkjet printer or xerographic copier that will use the paper.

Here are a few specifications to take into account (take a peek at our plotter paper size chart for a quick reference.)

Roll Width: The width of the plotter paper roll is the first number in the specification. In the United States, plotter paper roll widths are expressed in inches. Popular roll widths for wide-format plotters include 11, 17, 18, 22, 24, 30, 34, 36, and 42 inches.

These roll widths make it cost-effective and efficient to continuously print higher volumes of standard-size engineering and architectural drawings and office documents on wide-format inkjet printers with built-in cutters. (See the list of standard sizes for engineering and architectural drawings and letter papers in our plotter paper size chart.)

Roll Length: The length of the plotter paper roll is expressed in feet. Bond papers are commonly sold in lengths of 150, 300 and 500 feet, so you don’t have to stop to reload the paper during a job in which you are printing multiple copies or sets of drawings. Heavier or thicker papers or clear films for special applications are typically sold in roll lengths of 100 to 150 feet.

Core Diameter: The core size refers to the diameter of the cardboard tube on which the plotter paper is rolled. Plotter paper rolls for inkjet printers are sold on 2-inch cores. Plotter paper rolls of xerographic copiers are typically sold on 3-inch cores.

Caliper: The thickness of a paper is typically expressed in “mils,” which is one-thousandth of an inch. Older-model inkjet printers that were designed to print on bond papers and clear films can only feed materials with thicknesses of 9 mil or less. Newer models of wide-format inkjet printers were designed to handle a wide range of bond papers, photo papers, art papers, canvas and sign materials and can feed materials much thicker than 9 mil. Some models can handle materials up to 12 mil thick; other models can print on substrates up to 31 mil thick. Check your printer’s user manual or spec sheet to determine the maximum thickness of material that your printer can handle.

Other Specifications: Some popular models of Xerox engineering copier require that the inside edge of the paper be taped to the cardboard core. Freedom Paper sells some engineering copier paper rolls on taped rolls.

If you are buying an optically clear inkjet film for an HP Designjet printer and some other aqueous-ink inkjet printers that use optical sensors, order a clear film that has visible strips on the edges of the rolls so the sensor can “see” the film or a film with a paper interleaf. Refer to your printer’s manual to determine if you need a paper interleaf or side strips for the printer’s sensor to see the material.

Please call the experts at Freedom Paper at 866-310-3335 if you have any questions about plotter paper roll sizes. If you don’t have easy access to the spec sheet or user manual for your printer, we can tell you if the paper you plan to order isn’t for your specific printer and suggest compatible alternatives.

Standard sizes for U.S. Architectural Drawings are:
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

Standard sizes for U.S. Engineering Drawings are:
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) Drawing Sheet Sizes are:
A0: 33.11 x 46.81 inches (841 x 1189 millimeters)
A1: 23.39 x 33.11 inches (594 x 841 millimeters)
A2: 16.54 x 22.23 inches (420 x 495 millimeters)
A3: 11.69 x 16.54 inches (297 x 420 millimeters)
A4: 8.27 x 11.69 inches (210 x 297 millimeters)

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