Aspect ratio

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The aspect ratio of a shape is the ratio of its longer dimension to its shorter dimension. It may be applied to two characteristic dimensions of a three-dimensional shape, such as the ratio of the longest and shortest axis, or for symmetrical objects that are described by just two measurements, such as the length and diameter of a rod. The aspect ratio of a torus is the ratio of the major axis R to the minor axis r.

Applications and uses

The term is most commonly used with reference to:

  • graphic / image
    • image aspect ratio
    • computer display standard
    • paper size
    • standard photographic print sizes
    • standard ad size
    • pixel aspect ratio
  • tire code
  • tire sizing
  • wing aspect ratio of an aircraft or bird
  • Astigmatism of an optical lens

It is also a meme on


Aspect ratio compare.svg

From left to right:

  • 1. = 4:3: Some (not all) computer monitors (VGA, XGA, etc), SDTV
  • 1.414… = √2:1: Silver ratio, International paper sizes (ISO 216)
  • 1.5 = 3:2: 35 mm film
  • 1.618…: Golden ratio, close to 16:10 = 8:5: Widescreen computer monitors (WXGA, etc.)
  • 1. = 5:3: Super 16 mm, a standard frame ratio among many European countries
  • 1. = 16:9: HDTV

See also

  • Ratio
  • Equidimensional ratios in 3D
  • Vertical orientation