Convert Plotter Linear Feet to Square Feet | Calculator - TAVCO

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Imagine you're in the market for a new large-format printer or upgrading from an older model. In that case, it's essential to have an accurate usage estimate. In the past, the method for measuring usage was a linear foot measurement of the amount of paper that exits the printer. 


However, the more modern and widely accepted method is measuring square feet. While the difference is simple, users of older machines may need help and clarity when trying to convert between the two.


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Here's how to convert linear feet to square feet in wide-format printing:

Square Feet To calculate the total number of square feet within an entire drawing, use one of the following methods:


Option 1: Multiply the length and width in feet. For example, a 24x36 (in) drawing would be 2 x 3 = 6 square feet.


Option 2: Multiply the length and width in inches, then divide by 144. For example, a 24x36 (in) drawing would be 24 x 36 = 864, then 864 ÷ 144 = 6 square feet. This method is preferred for irregularly sized drawings as it eliminates the need to calculate decimals.


Square feet is the most accurate way to track usage, and most wide-format printers have a square footage meter in the machine.


Older machines previously tracked usage by the linear foot, but newer devices typically follow in square feet. The Xerox 6204 tracks both, while newer Canon or KIP printers only track in square feet.


Linear feet only track the length of the print. For example, a 24x36 (in) drawing printed in landscape orientation would have two linear feet printed. In contrast, the same drawing printed in portrait orientation would have three linear feet printed.


If you have a linear foot measurement and want to convert it to square feet, multiply the linear foot number by 3 (assuming a 36" roll). This measurement will give you an estimate of the number of square feet in the print.


By following these guidelines, you can easily convert between linear and square feet in wide format printing, ensuring accurate estimates of usage for your equipment upgrades.


Are you interested in a wide-format machine upgrade? We'd love to help. 

Contact a TAVCO Tech Advisor for insight and price information. 


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