B5 vs A4: What is The Difference Between Them? [Explained]

Even in the world of digital documentation, real ‘paper’ works are not left behind. Newspapers, Paper books, letters, envelopes, cards are still not meant for virtual uses.

Hence, for all these purposes, we need ‘papers.’ There come two most common series of papers, the A and B series, where varieties of paper sizes come for formatting.

a4 vs b5

The most common dimension paper types are used A4 from the A-series and B5 from the B series.  Although it is not tough to choose just a piece of paper, the slight differences make them stand out from each other.

The dimensions of the B series are actually the geometric average of A series papers. A series of papers have dimensions for day-to-day printing, photocopying use.

In comparison, the B series papers are meant for special uses, such as making envelopes, books, posters and passports. Therefore, let us look at a brief comparison between B5 vs A4 papers.

Comparison Table of A4 vs B5

AttributesA4B5  
Standard Paper Size8.27 inches by 11.7 inches7 inches by 10 inches  
UsesEveryday use  Special Use
  Used in the USA  NoYes

About A Series Paper Size

a series paper size

A series paper is the most common paper type used worldwide. It has a total of 19 variations of paper sizes in its series; amongst all, the A4 size is the widely used one that is 8.27 inches by 11.7 inches.

The largest paper size is the A0, with a dimension of 33.1 inches by 46.8 inches. The A-series paper uses their aspect to give dimension to their papers, which is 1:1.4. Overall, the standard dimension measurement of A4 papers is rounded to the nearest inches or millimeters.

About B series Paper Size

b series paper size

The B series paper dimensions are defined by ISO 216 standard paper size. There are 17 different sizes of B papers, and they are mostly used for special cases such as books, posters, passports and envelopes. B series papers are not commonly used in everyday life. Nonetheless, they have the dimension aspect ratio of 1:1.4.

Detail Comparison of B5 & A4 with Video

After some pieces of information on the A series and B series papers, let us look at a detailed B5 and A4 comparison to better understand their differences.

The differences of these papers are not noticeable; you might think it is all ok to use any dimension paper for every work; therefore, I want to point out their differences for your help in easy comparison.

Size

As the name suggests, A4 is from the A series, and B5 is from the B series. The B5 paper dimension is right between the A4 and A5 papers’ dimension, where the B5 dimension is 7/ 10 inches.

And the A4 paper has a dimension of 8.27 inches by 11.7 inches. In this case, the A4 is slightly wider and lengthier than the B5 paper.

Uses

Both types of papers are widely used among all the other paper dimension from each of their series. The A4 size papers are used mostly by officials and students for regular printing, photocopy and faxing purposes.

In contrast, the B5 paper dimension is used for special cases such as books, posters, passports and envelopes or for addressing invitation writing.

Countries used in

The A4 paper is most commonly used in western Europe, South Asia, Australian subcontinent, which means in the majority of the world except the USA and Canada. Whereas B5 paper is more widely used in Eastern Asia and the USA. 

Is B5 bigger than A4?

Dimension wise, the B5 is 7 inches by 10 inches, and the A4 paper is 8.27 inches by 11.7 inches. So, there is no way B5 is bigger than A4. A4 is slight, not noticeably, wider and longer than B5.

Nonetheless, B5’s dimension is the mean number between A4 and A5 paper dimensions, and both are measured by ISO 216 standard paper size.

Letter size vs a4

letter size vs a4 size

These two types of paper are the most predominant papers in the North American and International systems. The legal paper size has a dimension of 8.5 by 14 inches, whereas the A4 paper has a dimension of 8.27 by 11.7 inches. Letter size papers are taller than A4 papers if not wider.

Paper size comparison: How to choose a paper size?

If you find yourself confused by so many varieties of papers from the A and B series, then I have the perfect and the most easy-going guide for you.

Here, I will mention some points that you need to consider before choosing the right paper sizes for your task.

Purpose

Why go into the hassle of cutting the papers when you can pick up your desired paper size from the wide range of size available in the A and B paper series?

If you are an office professional, student or have a printing business, you need A series papers for your work because they are sized for day-to-day printing, photocopying use.

Whereas the B series papers are meant for special uses, such as making envelopes, books, posters and passports.

Availability

Not all types of paper are available in every country. Suppose the A series papers are widely available in many countries of South Asia, Western Europe and the Australian Subcontinent.

At the same time, B series are not as common as the A series and are used mainly by East Asians.

FAQ

#1 What is B5 size?

The dimension of B5 size paper is 176/ 250 mm or 6.9/ 9.8 inches. The dimension of the B5 paper sheet is basically the geometric mean of A4 and A5 size paper from the A series.

#2 What size is B5 compared to A5?

The B5 paper dimension is right between A4 and A5, where the B5 dimension is 7/ 10 inches, and A5 is 6/ 8.25 inches. Therefore, the B5 is slightly larger in size compared to A5.

#3 What size is B5 in CM?

In Centimeter, the B5 paper sizes 17.6 in width 25 in length, which is defined by ISO 216 standard paper size. This size paper is commonly used for making envelopes and handy brochures.

#4 What is B5 paper size in the US?

B5 paper is sized as 176/ 250 mm or 6.9/ 9.8 inches in the US. B5 paper is the geometric average of the widely used A4 and A5 paper.

#5 Why is A4 called A4?

The A4 size is a widely used metric standard paper, and it is used heavily across the world for day-to-day life purpose. The A4 is sized 8.27 inches by 11.7 inches that is the official and standard size for using note-taking, photocopies, prints, writing and much more.

#6 What is an A4 size?

The A4 is sized 8.27 inches by 11.7 inches or 297 x 420 mm. The ISO 216 standard paper size defines this measurement. This paper size is used in almost every country of the world except the USA and Canada.

#7 Which countries use A4 paper size?

Except for the USA and Canada, almost every country in the world uses A4 paper size for most of their paper works. A4 papers are most common in every stationery store and are easily available for official uses.

#8 Is A4 standard paper size?

A4 is the widely used paper size in the A series paper, and it is the standard paper size for international letterhead with a size of 8.27 inches by 11.7 inches or 297 x 420 mm.

#9 Is A6 bigger than A5?

No, the A6 paper is not bigger than its ancestor; rather, its size is half the A5 paper, where A6 measures 5.8 x 4.1 inches and A5 measures 8.3 x 5.8 inches.

#10 Is A4 paper size the same as legal?

They have a slight difference in their dimension. The legal paper size has a dimension of 8.5 by 14 inches, whereas the A4 paper has a dimension of 8.27 by 11.7 inches. So, you can guess that the legal paper is a bit longer than the A4 one.

#11 Why does the US not use A4?

If the US adopts A4 paper size as its standard paper, it will create a massive disconnection between all the printed and copied documents in the US from this time to the next several years. 

#12 Does Japan use A4 paper?

Japan don’t widely use A4 paper; however, the B-series is more famous in Japan than the A series paper. Whereas, A series is more widely used in Western Europe, Australia, and South Asian continents.

#13 What is an A4 paper called in America?

The A4 paper is called letter size paper synonymously in the USA. There are more names to the A series papers called by the Americans.

#14 What is legal paper size?

The legal paper size is 8 ½ x14 inches. Do not confuse it with the letter paper size that measures 8 ½ x 11 inches; same width but different length.

Conclusion

So, this was my overall comparison and information on A4 vs b5 paper sizes. I hope it was clear to you for getting a concept to choose the right paper size for your purpose.

If you are living in the USA, Canada or in Eastern Asia, then B5 paper must be very commonly used as a standard dimension.

On the other hand, if you are in the Western world, South Asia, then A4 paper must have been in your life at least once. Though choosing paper is not daunting, having clarity regarding their uses and style is not bad!

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