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Picas

The pica is a typographic unit of measure corresponding to approximately  1/6 of an inch, or  1/72 of a foot. One pica is further divided into 12 points.

To date, in printing three pica measures are used:

  • The French pica of 12 Didot points (also called cicéro) generally is: 12 × 0.376 = 4.512 mm (0.1776 in).
  • The American pica of 0.016044 inches (0.4075 mm). It was established by the United States Type Founders' Association in 1886. In TeX one pica may be defined as  12/72.27 of an inch.
  • The contemporary computer pica is exactly  1/6 of a inch or  1/72 of a foot, i.e. 4.233 mm or 0.166 inches.

Publishing applications such as Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress represent pica measurements with whole-number picas left of a lower-case p, followed by the points number, for example: 5p6 represents 5 picas and 6 points, or 5.5 picas.

CSS defined by the World Wide Web Consortium use pc as the abbreviation for pica ( 1/6 of an inch), and pt for point ( 1/72 of an inch).

The pica is also used in measuring the font capacity and is applied in the process of copyfitting. The font length is measured there by the number of characters per pica (cpp). As books are most often printed with proportional fonts, cpp of a given font is usually a fractional number. For example, a 11-point font (like Helvetica) may have 2.4 cpp, thus a 5-inch (30-pica) line of a usual octavo-sized (6×8 in) book page would contain around 72 characters (including spaces).

Picas
Symbol/abbreviation: p
Unit of: LENGTH
LENGTH's base unit: meters (SI Unit)
In relation to the base unit (meters), 1 Picas = 0.00423333333 meters.
[Conversion table] 1 Picas (p) to all length units
1 p= 2.33333333149 agate [typography] (agate)
1 p= 0.00712948834413 alens (aln)
1 p= 42333333.3 angstroms (Å)
1 p= 2.8298085462E-14 astronomical unit (au)
1 p= 4.23333333E+15 attometers (am)
1 p= 3.58422938786E-5 barleycorns (bcorn)
1 p= 4233333330 bicrons (μμ)
1 p= 79998437.7628 bohr radius (Bohr)
1 p= 2.28435672335E-5 cable length uk (cbl[UK])
1 p= 1.92901234416E-5 cable length us (cbl[US])
1 p= 16.6666666535 calibers (cal)
1 p= 16.6666666535 centiinch (cin)
1 p= 0.423333333 centimeters (cm)
1 p= 0.000210437710272 chains (ch)
1 p= 0.00925925925197 cubits (cbt)
1 p= 0.000423333333 decameters (dam)
1 p= 0.0423333333 decimeters (dm)
1 p= 11.2596970794 didot points (didot point)
1 p= 0.222222222047 digits (digit)
1 p= 0.00370370370079 ells (eel)
1 p= 1.00375000925 ems (EM)
1 p= 4.23333333E-21 exameters (Em)
1 p= 0.00231481481299 fathoms (fath)
1 p= 0.013888888878 feet (ft)
1 p= 4.23333333E+12 femtometers (fm)
1 p= 4.23333333E+12 fermi (fermi)
1 p= 0.0370370370079 finger cloth (finer)
1 p= 0.190476190326 fingerbreadth (fb)
1 p= 0.0134776610315 fods (fod)
1 p= 2.10437710272E-5 furlongs (fur)
1 p= 4.23333333E-12 gigameters (Gm)
1 p= 0.000137445887338 greek plethron (pleth)
1 p= 2.28828828649E-5 greek stadion (std)
1 p= 0.0416666666339 hands (h)
1 p= 4.23333333E-5 hectometers (hm)
1 p= 423.333333 himetrics (hiMetric)
1 p= 0.00223220110855 hvats (hvat)
1 p= 0.166666666535 inches (in)
1 p= 4.23333333E-6 kilometers (km)
1 p= 1.37178656189E-22 kiloparsecs (kpc)
1 p= 1.6344916332E-16 light days (ld)
1 p= 3.92338584801E-15 light hours (lh)
1 p= 2.35315916064E-13 light minutes (lmin)
1 p= 5.44760433664E-18 light months (lm)
1 p= 1.41205247832E-11 light seconds (ls)
1 p= 4.4745093859E-19 light years (ly)
1 p= 2.01587301429 lines (l)
1 p= 0.0210437289396 links (li)
1 p= 4.23333333E-9 megameters (Mm)
1 p= 0.00423333333 meters (m)
1 p= 166666.666535 microinches (μin)
1 p= 4233.33333 micrometers (μm)
1 p= 4233333330 micromicrons (μμm)
1 p= 2.6304713784E-6 miles (mi)
1 p= 4.23333333 millimeters (mm)
1 p= 166.666666535 mils (mil)
1 p= 4.23333333E-7 myriameters (Mym)
1 p= 0.0740740740157 nails cloth (nail)
1 p= 4233333.33 nanometers (nm)
1 p= 7.61939044276E-7 nautical leagues (Nl)
1 p= 2.28581713283E-6 nautical miles (NM)
1 p= 0.00555555555118 paces (pace)
1 p= 0.0555555555118 palms (palm)
1 p= 1.37192989812E-19 parsecs (pc)
1 p= 0.000841750841088 perch (perch)
1 p= 4.23333333E-18 petameters (Pm)
1 p= 1 picas (p)
1 p= 4233333330 picometers (pm)
1 p= 16.0000020031 pixels (PX)
1 p= 2.64583333125E+32 planck length (pl)
1 p= 11.9999924315 points (pt)
1 p= 0.000841750841088 poles (pole)
1 p= 0.0952380951631 rack unit (ru)
1 p= 1.0000001252 rems (rem)
1 p= 0.000841750841088 rods (rd)
1 p= 0.000119248826197 roman actus (actus)
1 p= 0.000694444443898 ropes (rope)
1 p= 4.23333333E-7 scandinavian miles (mil[Scandinavian])
1 p= 0.0185185185039 spans (span)
1 p= 4.23333333E-15 terameters (Tm)
1 p= 166.666666535 thou (th)
1 p= 239.99848801 twips (twip)
1 p= 0.00488837566975 varas [Argentina] (vr[Argentina])
1 p= 0.00505049492385 varas [California] (vr[California])
1 p= 0.00489969135417 varas [Latin America] (vr[Latin])
1 p= 0.00505158985466 varas [Mexico] (vr[Mexico])
1 p= 0.00506440163895 varas [Spanish] (vr[Spanish])
1 p= 0.0049999803111 varas [Texas] (vr[Texas])
1 p= 3.96825396513E-6 versts (vst)
1 p= 42248666971.4 x unit (xu)
1 p= 0.00462962962598 yards (yd)
1 p= 4.23333333E+21 yoctometers (ym)
1 p= 4.23333333E-27 yottameters (Ym)
1 p= 4.23333333E+18 zeptometers (zm)
1 p= 4.23333333E-24 zettameters (Zm)
1 p= 0.166666666535 zolls (zoll)
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