Folding A3 and larger pages


Most documents are of A4 size but a few may have a larger paper size. It is not unusual for maps and drawings to be A3 or even A2 size. Land Registry title plans for most houses are A4 size but if a larger area of land has been registered, for example an estate road or agricultural land, the title plan may be A3 or larger. Before the 1970s many Conveyances were about A3 size (not exactly A3 as that is a modern paper size but approximately A3).

Although it depends on how many A3 (or larger) documents there are, usually copies of documents are collected and bound together in A4 size with larger pages being folded into A4 size.

Folding A3 sheets

The width of an A3 sheet is the same as the length of an A4 sheet so A3 sheets - in landscape orientation - can be filed in an A4 binder and folded. 

An A3 sheet folded exactly down the middle will be A4 size but in practice you can't fold an A3 sheet exactly down the middle because a half-inch or so on the left is in the binding and you need to fold an A3 sheet down a line slightly to the right of the middle which results in the folded page being slightly wider than A4. This does not matter if there are no cardboard tabs in the binder (or if the sheet is filed after the last cardboard tab) but if there are cardbaord tabs after the folded A3 sheet they would be obscured by the slightly-wider-than A4 sheet so in order to avoid this problem you need to fold the A3 sheet twice as illustrated below:

Folding sheets which are larger than A3

Folding sheets which are larger than A3 into A4 size is a bit more complicated but the key is to use a diagonal fold. The video here shows how to fold an A1 sheet into A4 size - note the diagonal fold at the bottom left shown at the end of the video. 

The diagonal fold ensures that there is a single thickness of paper in the margin where the sheet is to be bound. The video shows the sheet being folded into exactly A4 size and this is suitable if the pages are to be bound in the middle of the left hand edge - e.g. if two holes are punched and the pages are bound together using ribbon, or in a ring binder, or in some other way which does not involve binding all the way down the edge. If, however, comb binding, or any other kind of binding which uses the whole A4 length, is used you may need to fold the sheets so that, in the folded state, they are slightly longer than A4 size with the bottom (where the diagonal fold is) protruding by about half an inch. This is to ensure that the binding does not catch the corner of the diagonal fold.

Folded sheets should generally be printed only on one side. 

Ensuring page numbers are visible when the sheets are folded

If the sheets are page numbered the page numbering may have been imposed on the assumption that the page will be bound on the longer side. If in fact it is, because it is A3 or larger, folded and bound on the shorter side, the page number may be in an unexpected position or may be covered up by a fold. If the page number is not easily visible in the folded position use a pen to write the page number at the bottom of the folded page.


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This page was lasted updated in February 2020. Disclaimer