How Big is a School Folder?

How big is a school folder

When people think of folders, the first thing that pops into mind is the paper or plastic folders they used as kids to separate their schoolwork by subject. A school folder is an important piece of school supplies that will help students organize their documents and keep their desks in a neat, orderly fashion.

The typical school folder will measure 12 inches tall, 18 inches wide, and have two inner pockets that stand 4 inches tall. When folded in half, the folder will measure 9 × 12 inches, which is large enough to house letter-sized sheets of paper.

However, there are several types of school folders to choose from. Depending on what grade you are and what paper size you’re most accustomed to using, you may want to learn more about how folders can differ in size and style.

School Folder Sizes

School Folder Sizes

School folders can come in an assortment of shapes and sizes, which are determined by what paper size the folder will ultimately house. For instance, in the US and Canada, we are more accustomed to using letter-sized paper as opposed to A4. As such, our folders will be constructed slightly larger than letter paper to ensure the sides and corners don’t fold when the folder is shut.

Folders for Letter-Size Paper

Letter-size paper measures 8.5 × 11 inches. A folder that’s built to contain letter-size paper will measure 9 × 12 inches. The overall size of an unfolded school folder will measure 18 × 12 inches. When unfolded, there will be two pockets on the internal portion of the folder that each measure 9 × 4 inches.

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Folders for Legal-Size Paper

Legal-sized folders are available at most large office supplies stores. While legal paper is another commonly used paper size in the US and Canada, it’s not a size that schoolchildren will typically use to print reports or jot notes.

Because legal paper measures 8.5 × 14 inches, a folder for legal-size paper will measure 9.5 inches wide and 14.5 inches when folded. When you unfold it, you may find a 4-inch-tall horizontal pocket on one side and a 5-inch-wide vertical pocket on the other.

As such, legal-size folders will provide enough space for schoolchildren to store their letter-size sheets of paper with plenty of wiggle room to spare.

Plastic Folders

Plastic Folders

While the typical school folder will be made of paper or cardboard, there are plastic folders, which have semi-transparent covers to let you see what’s inside the folder without opening it up. However, many of these plastic folders do not have pockets but instead, come with a binder, which you can use to keep your sheets in order.

Does Size Matter?

As indicated earlier, the size of the folder is important for containing sheets of paper of a particular size. As long as the folder is large enough for your paper, there really isn’t anything else to worry about.

That said, if you want your folder to stand out among the rest of your schoolmates, you might want to consider getting a larger folder. That way, it will stand several inches above the other folders when you and your classmates turn your folders and homework in for grading.

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Baron Cooke has been writing and editing for 7 years. He grew up with an aptitude for geometry, statistics, and dimensions. He has a BA in construction management and also has studied civil infrastructure, engineering, and measurements. He is the head writer of

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