# LaTeX optimal settings for MS Word-like document

When you create a new document in Microsoft Word, you get a standard blank document with the right margins. Moreover when that document is exported to PDF, you are satisfied with the layout.

Over and over I have tried to get the best out of LaTeX, to make it standard looking but I have failed. Using `fullpage` or `geometry` packages with custom sizes doesn't give best results.

What settings would you use if you were to mimic a Word portrait document in LaTeX ?

I'm not concerned with fonts, CM fonts are my favourite.

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You know this is a bad idea in many cases, I assume? Word's margins are far too small. You might also elaborate on 'doesnt give best results', as something like `\usepackage[margin=1 in]{geometry}` gives Word-like margins pretty easily. – Joseph Wright Nov 23 '11 at 12:57
Another ugly hack is to use blindly `\setlength{\oddsidemargin}{0.0cm} \setlength{\evensidemargin}{.0cm} \setlength{\textwidth}{17cm} \setlength{\topmargin}{-1.50cm} \setlength{\textheight}{25cm} \setlength{\footskip}{0.8cm}` in the preamble and play around with the values whenever it feels personally right for you. – percusse Nov 23 '11 at 13:24
Could you be a bit more specific ahout what you mean by "Over and over I have tried to get the best out of LaTeX, to make it standard looking but I have failed"? Is it the lack of automatic hyphenation, the absence of kerning of various letter pairs, or the absence of ligatures that you're trying to replicate in LaTeX? – Mico Nov 23 '11 at 14:37
@Mico: Subtle. ;) – qubyte Nov 23 '11 at 17:38
Even though you do like the standard Latex fonts, I would recommend you switching over to ComicSans. Using the package ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/comicsans This would certanly bring Latex closer to the "Word standards" =) – N3buchadnezzar Nov 23 '11 at 17:45

## 2 Answers

I would not be satisfied with Word-like layout, and my opinion is if I use `typearea` or `geometry` I can get optimal results. Either I decide layout division (`typearea`) or specify the exact margin values (`geometry`), so the layout is in my decision. I agree that LaTeX's default values might not be good for everyone, however it's easy to customize.

However, there's a package you might like, it's called `wordlike`. It offers narrow margins, makes Times, Helvetica (Arial like) and Courier default fonts for Roman, sans-serif and typewriter font, respectively, and it makes `\sloppy` typesetting.

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+1 just for the phrase "\sloppy typesetting" – Brent.Longborough Nov 23 '11 at 15:20

The default margins in Word for USLetter paper are top, bottom=1in and left,right=1.25in. As @JosephWright says, you can easily create that with the `geometry` package:

``````\usepackage[tmargin=1in,bmargin=1in,lmargin=1.25in,rmargin=1.25in]{geometry}.
``````

If you want to emulate MSWord sectioning styles, see

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You can use `hmargin = 1.25 in, vmargin = 1 in` to shorten this a bit. – Joseph Wright Nov 23 '11 at 13:44