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I'm going to print my thesis at the size of 81% A4 which is a beautiful paper format and pretty common with scientific publications. I'm wondering what's better:

  • Either creating an document with a4paper option and scale it down at the printer? (Will I lose quality?)
  • Or creating a document with some option that pre-defines 81% of A4? (Is there any option yet? Or will I have to define my own papersize?)

I'm currently using the documentclass report:

\documentclass[12pt,a4paper,twoside,openright]{report}
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We usually do not have much problems. Many of our PhD students get their thesis printed as B5, but we design the document in as A4. The printing house will then take care of the down scaling and they usually do a great job. I would just make sure that the original font size is not too small (we also usually use 12pt as a base size, so that is fine). –  daleif Jun 8 '12 at 16:01
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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'd go with the second option: if you have images they will lose quality when reduced by the printer.

If you have a printer with that paper size (but I bet you haven't) then

\documentclass[11pt,twoside,openright]{report}

\usepackage[paperwidth=170.1mm,paperheight=240.57mm,
            heightrounded]{geometry}
% \geometry{<other possible options>}

should do.

If instead you have to crop from A4paper, then

\documentclass[11pt,twoside,openright]{report}

\usepackage[a4paper,
  layoutwidth=170.1mm,layoutheight=240.57mm,
  layouthoffset=19.95mm,
  heightrounded,
  showcrop]{geometry}
% \geometry{<other possible options>}

In my opinion 12pt is too much for such a format. You get 33 lines of text; while with 11pt you get 35.

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My guess is that the 81% requirement and the 12pt font size is specified in order to have the document reduced at the printer (this will scale to approximately 9.75pt font-size). You can have a look as to how the document will look by scaling it down yourself as per the MWE below:

\documentclass[twoside,a4paper]{report}
\usepackage{pgfpages}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\begin{document}
\pgfpagesuselayout{resize to}[physical paper width=0.81\paperwidth,
                physical paper height=0.81\paperheight]
\lipsum[1-15]
\end{document}

Probably the best advice you can get is to talk to your Printers and get their suggestions. If you do let us know what they said.

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