How to set default “Page Setup →Page Size” as A4 in Firefox?

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Problem :

In my Firefox (linux) I can change the page as A4 in File → Page Setup → Page Size. Doing this, I inform the browser to print my pages as A4, instead of the default of Letter. My printer doesn’t have Letter paper size (it just exists in USA). If it forget to change the page size, I have to walk to it, press “change page size” to start printing it.

How do I set the default page size to A4 once and forever?

Solution :

I had this same issue today and found this post after searching Google. I fixed it in basically the same way as Android Eve laid out, just using the print.print_paper_name setting instead and using iso_a4 as the value.

So the long version, that’s:

  1. In the address bar, type about:config.
  2. Enter print.print_paper_name in the filter box and press Enter.
  3. Double-click the entry named print.print_paper_name.
  4. Enter iso_a4 in the dialog box and press OK.
  5. Notice that it now works fine, and upvote this response 😉

Check out this man page:

paperconfig – configure the system default paper size


paperconfig [ -v,--version ] [ -h,--help ] [ -p, --paper papername | --force ]


paperconfig sets the system (or default) paper to be used by tools using the papersize >file. It can either ask interactively for the paper to use or be called non-interactively >by scripts.

When the paper size has been changed, paperconfig notifies other packages of the change >by running the scripts in the /etc/libpaper.d directory.


Print the version of paperconfig and exit.
Print help about usage and exit.
-p, –paper papername
Use papername if possible. If papername is not a valid paper, print an error message and exit.
Force interactive selection of the system paper even if the actual paper is a valid one.


PAPERCONF Full path to a file containing the paper size to use; this file will be rewritten with the system paper size.


Contains the name of the system-wide default paper size to be used if the PAPERSIZE variable is not set.

Directory of scripts to run after the paper size has been changed. This package puts no scripts here, but other packages may.

So you would run paperconfig -p a4 in the commandline.

Make sure /etc/papersize has a4 in it, for some reason it tend to be letter.

sudo sh -c "echo 'a4' > /etc/papersize"

Then set LC_PAPER to your locale, in my case it sweden.

sudo sh -c "echo 'export LC_PAPER="sv_SE.utf8"'>> .profile"

All locales but en_US should work since US is the only one that uses letter, the rest of the world uses A4.

Dave’s answer didn’t work for me in Firefox 5 on Linux, it seems Firefox now stores separate settings for each printer it sees. If you search for print_paper_name in about:config you will see several similar settings for each printer e.g. “printer.printer_Samsung_ML-2010.print_paper_name”. Set all of them to iso_a4 and join the civilised world of standardised paper sizes.

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