Portrait & Landscape Paper
Diagram of Portrait and Landscape Paper Presentation
The terms Portrait and Landscape when used to refer to paper indicate the way the paper is presented to the viewer. When paper is presented as in a letter with the short side at the top it is referred to as Portrait and when it has the long side at the top, for instance a print of a slide from a slide show, it is referred to as Landscape (see diagram to the right).
The names Portrait and Landscape are taken from art as portraits are generally painted with a shorter top edge and longer sides, with landscapes having the longer top edge and shorter sides.
Use Of The Terms Portrait Size & Landscape Size
Sometimes you may hear terms such as 'A4 Portrait Size' or 'A3 Landscape Size', technically the use of these terms is incorrect. For instance 'A4 Portrait Size' actually means A4 size paper presented to the user in Portrait view and 'A3 Landscape Size' means A3 size paper presented to the user as a Landscape view. You could use 'A4 Size Portrait' or 'A3 Size Landscape' to more clearly present your intentions in these cases.
One of the most common tricks played on office newbies and juniors is to ask them to buy a packet of A4 Landscape paper as almost all A4 paper is packaged in protrait form.
Landscape & Portait Binding & Binders
When a book is bound it will be bound in either Landscape or Portrait format. Most books are bound in Portrait format along the longer edge, this ensures that they are stronger and more durable. Books bound along the shorter edge are said to be in Landscape format.
It is a similar situation with Ring Binders or Lever Arch Files, if the rings are along the long side the binder is a Portrait Binder and if the rings are along the short side it is said to be a Landscape Binder.