What Are The Tracing Paper Sizes?

Tracing paper is a versatile material used in various creative and technical fields. It offers a translucent surface that allows artists, designers, and architects to trace or overlay their designs, enhancing the creative process. However, tracing paper comes in different sizes, each serving specific purposes.

Tracing paper is widely available in the United States in several standard sizes, including 8.5 x 11 inches, 9 x 12 inches, 11 x 14 inches, 12 x 18 inches, 14 x 17 inches, 18 x 24 inches, and 19 x 24 inches. Additionally, tracing paper can be found in ISO A-series sizes such as A2, A3, and A4. 

In this article, I will explore the different tracing paper sizes, their applications, and how to choose the right size for your project.

Standard Tracing Paper Sizes:

However, there are some common standard sizes for tracing paper that is widely used. Here are the standard tracing paper sizes:

  • A0: 841 mm × 1189 mm (33.1 in × 46.8 in)
  • A1: 594 mm × 841 mm (23.4 in × 33.1 in)
  • A2: 420 mm × 594 mm (16.5 in × 23.4 in)
  • A3: 297 mm × 420 mm (11.7 in × 16.5 in)
  • A4: 210 mm × 297 mm (8.3 in × 11.7 in)
  • A5: 148 mm × 210 mm (5.8 in × 8.3 in)

These sizes are part of the ISO 216 standard, which is widely used for various paper sizes across many countries.

Uses Of Tracing Paper:

Tracing paper is a thin, see-through paper that is often used in art and design for tracing and transferring images. It’s usually made from vellum or synthetic materials like polyester. Tracing paper is commonly used in technical drawing, drafting, and architecture, as well as in artistic practices such as sketching and illustration.

Tracing paper allows light to pass through it, making it possible to trace an image onto another surface. Artists often use tracing paper to create preliminary sketches or transfer images onto a final drawing surface. 

Grading Of Tracing Paper:

The grading of tracing paper refers to the transparency or opacity of the paper. Tracing paper is available in different grades or weights, which determine its translucency and durability. Here are the common grades of tracing paper:


Heavyweight tracing paper has a higher weight and opacity, making it less translucent. It is suitable for more durable applications and projects where a higher degree of opacity is desired.


Mediumweight tracing paper strikes a balance between opacity and translucency. It provides a moderate level of transparency, making it suitable for general tracing and drafting purposes.


Lightweight tracing paper is thinner and more translucent. It allows for a high degree of transparency, enabling accurate tracing and easy visibility of underlying drawings or designs.

What Is The Best Way To Make Tracing Paper?

Making tracing paper on your own can be difficult and expensive. It’s better to buy tracing paper. However, if you don’t mind using thinner paper, you can turn regular printing paper into tracing paper with these steps:

  1. Get a sheet of printing paper. Any size will do.
  2. Brush vegetable oil thinly over the paper, covering the entire surface.
  3. Use a paper towel to remove excess oil.
  4. Let the paper dry for 24 hours. You can speed up the process by leaving it in the sun or using a hairdryer on low.

Common Uses of Tracing Paper

Tracing paper finds applications in various fields due to its versatility. Some of the common uses include:

  • Art and Design: Tracing paper allows artists to transfer and refine their sketches, experiment with compositions, and create overlays for mixed media artwork.
  • Architecture and Engineering: Architects and engineers use tracing paper for initial design sketches, creating blueprints, and making revisions without damaging the original plans.
  • Sewing and Pattern Making: Tracing paper helps in transferring and modifying patterns, ensuring accurate measurements and precise cutting for sewing projects.
  • Calligraphy and Hand Lettering: Tracing paper assists calligraphers and lettering artists in practicing letterforms, creating guidelines, and tracing intricate designs.
  • Education and Teaching: Tracing paper is a valuable tool in educational settings, aiding students in learning drawing techniques, geometry, and handwriting.

Can I Print on Tracing Paper?

Can We Use Baking Paper As A Tracing Paper

Yes, depending on the type of printer and the thickness of the tracing paper, it is possible to print on tracing paper. However, it’s important to ensure that the printer is compatible with tracing paper and that the ink does not smudge or bleed through the paper.

Tips for Using Tracing Paper Effectively

To make the most of tracing paper in your creative or technical endeavors, consider the following tips:

  • Use a soft pencil or fine-point pen for tracing to avoid damaging the paper.
  • Secure the tracing paper in place with tape or weights to prevent shifting while working.
  • Place a protective sheet under the tracing paper to avoid transferring marks to the underlying surface.
  • Experiment with different pressure levels to achieve the desired level of transparency and visibility.
  • When working on intricate designs, use a magnifying glass or close-up lens to ensure accuracy.


What is the size of the tracing paper in MM?

The size of tracing paper can vary, but it is commonly available in standard sizes. The most common size of tracing paper is A4, which measures 210 x 297 millimeters (mm).

What size is A3 tracing paper?

A3 tracing paper is larger than A4 and measures 297 x 420 mm.

What are the different types of tracing paper?

Tracing paper comes in various types, each with different characteristics and uses. Some common types of tracing paper include:
Lightweight tracing paper: This type of tracing paper is thin and transparent, allowing for easy tracing of images or designs. It is commonly used for sketching, drafting, and tracing purposes.
Medium-weight tracing paper: This type of tracing paper is slightly thicker and more durable than lightweight tracing paper. It provides better resistance to tearing and is suitable for projects that require a bit more durability.
Heavyweight tracing paper: This type of tracing paper is thicker and sturdier than the previous types. It can withstand more pressure and erasing, making it ideal for projects that involve frequent revisions or heavier use.
Matte tracing paper: Matte tracing paper has a non-reflective surface, which reduces glare and allows for better visibility when working under bright lights. It is often used in architectural and engineering drawings.
Translucent tracing paper: Translucent tracing paper has a semi-transparent quality that allows light to pass through. It is commonly used for overlays, layering, and creating special effects in artwork and design.

What size is A1 tracing paper?

A1 tracing paper is even larger than A3 and measures 594 x 841 mm. It is suitable for large-scale projects, such as architectural plans, engineering drawings, or artwork that requires a bigger canvas.

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