On paper sizes

• May 20, 2014 - 07:40

A lot of choral work is formatted on a paper size called octavo. Octavo, unfortunately, seems to have a variable definition: In my own choral folder I have perhaps seven works in octavo; and none of them are the same dimensions. That brings up two questions:

Does anyone know of a "standard" dimension for octavo? I don't see one in the list of page sizes on the page settings dialog; and none of the listed dimensions seems to come close.

And is there any way to change paper size that scales down paper size but preserves the current layout? The idea would be to scale the current 8.5x11 format to something along the lines of, say, 6x9 without taking 10 pages of score and making 18 or 23 or whatever out of it. Can this be done?

Thank you all.


In reply to by [DELETED] 5

Thank you for the link, lasconic. It basically corroborates my point, namely, that octavo has no standard size, despite the fact that it seems to be quite standard in choral music. As for me, I'd think the larger format paper (letter) would be more advantageous, especially for singers with decreasing visual acuity (such as I). But what do I know?

As to the lack of an automatic scaling, well, maybe I'll take that over to the feature request forum.

If I remember correctly from my days working with paper, Octavo is nor really a paper size as such, but rather the way is is produced as part of the manufacturing process, as there are various flavours, Quarto Octavo and others, can't remember off the top of my head.
Granted that it gradually took to popular belief that Octavo was a paper size, this is more in error, as books and folios printed in "Octavo" can vary in size by a few centimeters.
Things may be different now, but this is going back 50 or more years.

In reply to by murray45a

Lasconic's link above covers the traditional range of sizes, as well as defining four different sizes of "octavo" paper. There's a related thread I started under Feature Requests where it seems the best compromise is to print the score on what US (and perhaps other) paper makers call legal paper (11x14 inches) and fold that in half into a booklet 7x11 inches. I'll discuss that with my music director and see how it flies.

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