Archive for November 15th, 2007

In Ubuntu you can set all programs (such as OpenOffice writer, calc, impress etc) to print out in the same paper size. The setting will be kept in the file /etc/papersize.

taufanlubis@zyrex:/etc$ cat /etc/papersize

The size available for paper size are:

  • a3
  • a4
  • a5
  • b5
  • letter
  • legal
  • executive
  • note
  • and 11×17.

Additional paper names that one may encounter are: a0, a1, a2, a6, a7, a8, a9, a10, b0, b1, b2, b3, b4, tabloid, statement, note, halfletter, halfexecutive, folio, quarto, ledger, archA, archB, archC, archD, archE, flsa, flse, csheet, dsheet, esheet and 10×14.

The value of the papersize file can be overrideen by looking in order at the PAPERSIZE environment variable, then at the contents of the file specified by the PAPERCONF environment variable.

taufanlubis@zyrex:/etc$ paperconf

If the papersize file does not exist, programs using the paper library default to using letter as a fall-back value.


To change the value, just modify the file content. For example, if you want to change from a4 to letter, replace the value from a4 to letter. You must be as root if you want to use ‘echo’.

taufanlubis@zyrex:~$ su root
root@zyrex:/home/taufanlubis# echo “letter” > /etc/papersize
root@zyrex:/home/taufanlubis# cat /etc/papersize



or you can edit it using gedit.
taufanlubis@zyrex:~$ sudo gedit /etc/papersize

When you change the value in /etc/papersize, it will automatically change the value in the paperconf.
You have to exit your applications before you can use it.

Change I change the paper size from one of my applications?
Yes, you can. For example, you use a4 for all applications except letter for wordprocessor. Just, change mannually inside the word processor application before you start, edit or print your new document.

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