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What is exactly the command or the document class which is required to format a document such that it has alternating margins? Default values for margin space which are appropriate for dissertations are desired.

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If you use the book or report class or the koma script variants scrbook and scrreprt then you should have alternating margins by default. It is enabled using the twoside class option and disabled using the oneside option.

If you want to change the margins then you can do this e.g. using the geometry package. It accepts the margin=<length> option for all sides or left, right, top and bottom for the separate margins. The koma script classes have their own margin settings. See its manual for the details.

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thanks, it works. –  kloop Jul 27 '11 at 22:28

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