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When I view my document in a PDF with pdflatex, my stuff is squished into like only 60% of the page, leaving the rest an ugly, unused whitespace. How do I fixed this (preferably in Lyx)?

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In defense of latex's article class, I think it was designed for journal articles, which aren't printed on US letter-size paper. –  Matthew Leingang Nov 9 '10 at 10:11
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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

There are two reasons why Lyx leaves a lot of space:

  1. By default uses a Latex class which, like most of the core Latex classes, has very generous margins, and
  2. It probably is making a conservative guess about your page size, as the intersection of A4 and letter size.

You can fix this by going to Document > Settings... and configuring the following options:

  1. Set your paper size to the actual size you want (under the Page Layout tab); and then either
  2. Fix your class to something more cramped, such as a letter or CV class (under Document Class); and maybe also
  3. Manually fix your margins (under Page Margins).
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You may find useful the geometry package.

Another option is to generate the PDF using whatever class you wish and then crop the white space out. This is what I do when I have to read an already generated PDF on an electronic book, with limited screen "real state". There are many programs that will let you crop white margins out. I use briss and am happy with it.

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The geometry package will work, if it is entered into the Latex preamble. It is not really the Lyx way to manage page layout like that. Cropping PDFs manually is something to avoid with documents you are writing. –  Charles Stewart Nov 9 '10 at 10:03
    
He said "preferably in Lyx", which is why I thought package geometry could be an option. Otherwise, yes, I think cropping is the last resort, and I only use it for PDF's for which I do not have control. –  F. Tusell Nov 9 '10 at 12:03
    
I'd also suggest pspdftool for postprocessing PS/PDF files. It can combine cropping with other manipulations like creating folded 2-page double-sided booklets. This saves me a lot of unused paper space (see the man page). –  Petr Pudlák Oct 11 '12 at 8:13
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