What does 4 sides of a4 mean?

How do you determine the length of a text?

Sheet, page, A4 page, standard page, standard page, lines, words, letters, keystrokes, characters - there are many ways of specifying the scope of a text more or less precisely. In the editing of non-fiction books and specialist texts, the number of characters is preferred today.

A4 page

A DIN A4 page created on a PC usually has between 2000 and 4000 characters, depending on the font, size and line spacing. The number of A4 pages says little about the size of the text; You can only determine copying or printing costs in this way.

Standard page

The standard page is traditionally designed as a typewriter page with 30 lines with a maximum of 60 characters. Since not all lines of a running text are of the same length (due to flutter, paragraph ends, dialogues), it has between 1450 and 1600 characters.

VG Wort has simplified the standard page as a page with 1500 characters (including spaces). The Texterverband (professional association for free advertising copywriters e.V.) suggests the conversion: A standard page has 200 words (each with 7.5 characters).

The standard page is often still used as an auxiliary variable in order to calculate the fees for text services (text, editing, translation) or to make prices comparable.


The number of characters in word processing programs can be precisely determined on the PC; in Word you can find them (depending on the version) under:

  • Tools - Word Count - Characters (with spaces) or
  • Check - Word Count - Characters (with spaces)

The spaces are just as important as the zeros in mathematics and are always included.

Even if the text is still in progress, it is best to extrapolate using a few sample pages. The billing basis is then »1000 characters including spaces«, for comparison purposes I also convert to »standard pages (1500 characters including spaces)«.

Would you like to send me a request for proofreading? Tell me your concerns - I'll be happy to make you an offer.

More on the topic at federwerk.de:

Marion Kümmel is a spring worker and freelance editor. Since 2001 she has been providing text services for publishing houses, agencies, companies and authors. She edits non-fiction and specialist texts, scientific publications as well as texts from corporate communications and advertising. You can find out more on the editorial office's website.