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What size are your folders? Foolscap, letter, A4?

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  • What size are your folders? Foolscap, letter, A4?


    What size of file folders / document wallets do you use?

    I'm in the UK where you'd think the "default" would be for A4+ size, but it seems it's Foolscap size.

    I bought a load of folders last year in Foolscap size as that's all there was in my local office supplies shop.

    I'm now trying to make everything more portable and the Foolscap size is a little too big and unwieldy!

    All my documents will fit in A4 folders which saves a lot of space in my messenger style bag. So I'm going to standardise on A4.

    Oh and I decided on manila document wallets not regular file folders too!

    Folders as in a piece of manila card simply folded over, and opens on 3 sides, document wallets as in opens on 1 side, with expandable sides and top flap cover.

    They keep things together better when out and about yet are still very accessible for quick filing. They also stand up great in the filing crate too and I just treat them as square cut folders.

    I've realised now, that in The Book when DA recommended letter size folders they are closer in size to A4 than foolscap!

    Just curious to what you're all using out there!

    And to think I used to think a folder was just a folder...

    Best regards,

    Last edited by AndyD; 08-31-2007, 03:15 AM. Reason: Typo in Title Alert!

  • #2
    What size is foolscap?

    re: ["default" = Foolscap size.]

    I'm curious about what IS foolscap and what size it is.



    • #3
      In the US in my observation, everything is standardized to letter size. Getting A4 or something else locally would be almost impossible. The only other size we have is legal which is the same as letter, but 3 inches longer. Not much used outside of the legal profession, I don't think.


      • #4
        @Karen, it seems there's a few variants on the Foolscap size, so it varies!

        Typically it's 8.5 × 13.5 inches but there's small foolscap and long foolscap to complicate it further!

        There's some good information at:

        They also explains the history of it and where the origins of its name came from.

        The foolscap document wallets I've been lugging around are 9 & 3/8ths x 13 & 6/8ths inches - so they're quite a bit bigger than A4 or Letter size wallets/folders.

        @Barry, I didn't realise until I've looked up the sizes that US Letter and European A4 are so close in size to each other.

        So close in fact that it would be pointless in the US to find A4 as Letter is close enough.

        I was under the wrong impression that US Letter was closer to Foolscap size than A4 and that Foolscap was linked to the US Letter size! Couldn't have been more wrong.

        Now realise that Foolscap was a common size here before the introduction of the A4 sizes etc.

        All our paper here defaults to A4 but a lot of folders and wallets are still Foolscap!

        Thanks to all for the feedback!

        Best regards,



        • #5
          A4 folders here. All the paper we use at work is A4, so it fits the folders and wallets nicely.

          I get all my supplies from Staples. I got caught out once early on and bought Foolscap folders by mistake. They don't fit my filing cabinet, and had to be discarded.

          London, UK


          • #6
            @Ruth, thanks for the feedback!

            I got caught out too - bought 100 foolscap wallets (not folders) last year for use at home and now they're just too big. They don't fit easily in my regular bag or new portable expanding file!

            I'm either going to throw them out or more likely (as i'd rather recycle them) I might just cut an inch or so off one edge and they'll be the same size as the A4 variety! A bit of cutting and gluing for an hour or so should have it done!

            Thanks again,

            Last edited by AndyD; 09-01-2007, 04:48 PM. Reason: Clarity


            • #7
              A4 or Foolscap

              You can get the tabbed folders in both A4 and Foolscap. They come with five tabs across. The A4 appears to me to be the Foolscap with a bit cut off one end - one in five tabs are smaller, and its always the end one! The Foolscap tabbed folders have five equal sized tabs.

              As you say, the A4 ones generally fit in bags better but the Foolscap ones are easier for labelling. As you are using document wallets that's not an issue for you.

              You can get the tabbed folders from


              • #8
                @Robert, many thanks for the info. I didn't know the A4 folders were simply cut down foolscap ones! the smaller end tab is a bit of a giveaway!

                will checkout euro-office too.

                thanks again,

                best regards,



                • #9
                  Originally posted by Barry View Post
                  In the US in my observation, everything is standardized to letter size. Getting A4 or something else locally would be almost impossible. The only other size we have is legal which is the same as letter, but 3 inches longer. Not much used outside of the legal profession, I don't think.
                  We're based in the US but have offices throughout the world. When we exchange documents, we often receive documents that are formatted for A4. When we send these to the printer, the printer holds up printing until someone either cancels the job or puts A4 in the machine. Somehow our support organization has acquired A4-sized paper which we can feed in if we haven't reformatted the document before sending it to the printer. All that to say, you can get A4 now in the US.

                  Also, we create and print a lot of spreadsheets. These are often printed on legal paper, landscape, to fit all the columns. Ironically, I think our legal and contracts departments both use Letter sized paper for contracts. We also use "Ledger" paper that is 11" x 17" (like two Letter-sized sheets side-by-side.) Ledger is the name for the size. It is still blank white paper; ledger does not imply any type of accounting format printed on it.