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Photo Mat Size Calculator

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In the world of photography and artwork presentation, a photo mat plays a crucial role. It not only enhances the visual appeal of the framed piece but also protects it by creating a space between the artwork and the glass. This is where a photo mat size calculator comes into play. Designed to simplify the process of matting, this tool helps artists, photographers, and enthusiasts determine the perfect mat size for their artwork.

Purpose and Functionality of the Photo Mat Size Calculator

The primary purpose of a photo mat size calculator is to provide an easy and accurate way to calculate the dimensions of a mat that will fit between an artwork and its frame. This calculator takes into consideration the dimensions of the artwork and the frame to determine the width of the mat border needed on each side and the overall dimensions of the mat.

Formula Inputs:

  • Artwork Dimensions: The height (AH) and width (AW) of the artwork.
  • Frame Dimensions: The inner height (FH) and width (FW) of the frame.
  • Mat Border Width (MBW) (Optional): Desired width for the mat border.


  1. Mat Border Width (if not specified):
    • Width border = (FW - AW) / 2
    • Height border = (FH - AH) / 2
  2. Overall Mat Dimensions:
    • Mat Width (MW) = AW + (2 * MBW)
    • Mat Height (MH) = AH + (2 * MBW)


let's simplify the formula for the Photo Mat Size Calculator:

  1. What You Have:
    • The size of your picture (how tall and wide it is).
    • The size of the frame you want to put your picture in.
  2. What You Need to Find Out:
    • How wide the mat should be around your picture, so it fits nicely in your frame.
  3. Simple Steps to Calculate Mat Size:a. Find the Difference: Look at how much bigger the frame is compared to your picture. Do this for both the width and the height. This tells you how much space you have to fill with the mat.
    • For Width: Subtract the width of your picture from the width of the frame.
    • For Height: Do the same for the height.
    b. Divide by Two: Whatever difference you find, divide it by two. This is because you want the mat to be the same width all around your picture.
    • This tells you how wide the mat border should be on each side of your picture.
  4. Mat Size:
    • Now, add the mat width you found to both sides of your picture. This means you add it once to the width and once to the height of your picture. This gives you the total size of the mat you need.
  5. In Simple Words:
    • If your picture is 8x10 inches and your frame is 12x16 inches, first find out how much bigger the frame is (4 inches more wide and 6 inches more tall).
    • Then, divide those numbers by two to find out your mat border width (2 inches on the sides and 3 inches on the top and bottom).
    • Finally, add those widths to the size of your picture to get the total mat size you need. So, you would need a mat that is 14 inches wide and 16 inches tall to fit between your picture and your frame.

Step-by-Step Examples

Let's consider an example where the artwork measures 8x10 inches and the chosen frame is 12x16 inches. Assuming no specific mat border width is provided:

  1. Calculate Mat Border Width:
    • Width border = (12 - 8) / 2 = 2 inches
    • Height border = (16 - 10) / 2 = 3 inches

For aesthetic consistency, we'll use the larger value of 3 inches for both sides.

  1. Calculate Overall Mat Dimensions:
    • Mat Width = 8 + (2 * 3) = 14 inches
    • Mat Height = 10 + (2 * 3) = 16 inches

This calculation indicates the mat should be 14x16 inches to properly fit the frame while providing a 3-inch border around the artwork.

Relevant Information Table

ItemMeasurement (inches)
Artwork Width (AW)8
Artwork Height (AH)10
Frame Width (FW)12
Frame Height (FH)16
Mat Border Width3
Mat Width (MW)14
Mat Height (MH)16


The photo mat size calculator is an invaluable tool for anyone involved in framing artwork. It simplifies the complex process of figuring out the perfect mat size, ensuring that the artwork is presented beautifully and protected within its frame. By automating the calculation process, it saves time and reduces the risk of errors, allowing for a seamless matting experience. Whether you're a professional artist, photographer, or a hobbyist looking to display your work, the photo mat size calculator is an essential tool that can elevate the presentation of your framed pieces.

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