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This is a trivial exercise that hit me last night as I was reading an article printed off the internet. I have an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet with a 1 1/4 inch border both vertical and horizontal and justified printing.

Question: Approximately what percentage of the paper's area is taken up by the border?

Mathematics yields an answer that in no way agrees with what the eyes see. I was flabberghasted by this result.

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Before you laugh, I am not a math genius...took my two years of high school math in three. My answer is that you lost 39% of the page.

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To clarify, you mean a 1.25" margin on all 4 sides (top/bottom/left/right)? Then I concur w/ 45% wasted on border.

This can be seen in the reverse w/ computer monitors and TV screens. A 22" widescreen has 35% more viewing area than a 19" widescreen; which would seem counterintuitive since it's only a 15% increase in diagonal size.

(My roommate left a 46" tv which is slowly dieing; I'm torn because I really only need a 32" but it's difference in viewing area of 107%. http://www.cavecreations.com/tv2.cgi )

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I get 45% of the page too, but would never think that just looking at a sheet.

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I get 45% of the page too, but would never think that just looking at a sheet.

At the risk of admitting my ignorance, how did you calculate that?

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I get 45% of the page too, but would never think that just looking at a sheet.

At the risk of admitting my ignorance, how did you calculate that?

I also get 45%. 8.5" * 11" = 93.5 sq in.

Take away 1.25" each margin = take away 2.5" in height and 2.5" width = 6" * 8.50" = 51 sq in remaining area

93.5-51 = 42.5 sq in lost area.

42.5/93.5 = 45.45% lost

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I get 45% of the page too, but would never think that just looking at a sheet.

At the risk of admitting my ignorance, how did you calculate that?

I also get 45%. 8.5" * 11" = 93.5 sq in.

Take away 1.25" each margin = take away 2.5" in height and 2.5" width = 6" * 8.50" = 51 sq in remaining area

93.5-51 = 42.5 sq in lost area.

42.5/93.5 = 45.45% lost

Thank you!

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