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I'm using XeLaTeX mostly, and I never know what to put into \documentclass[]{}. Usually I use something like \documentclass[a4paper, 11pt]{scrartcl}. But I never know whether it's a4paper or paper=a4. I believe it has something to do the documentclass I'm using.

I need the paper selection for the KoMa-Classes, scrartcl, scrbook, scrreprt, as well as g-brief2, dinbrief, etc.

There is a plethora of sources on the internet, and while one source says paper=a4, another says a4paper. I need clarification on this one.

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The syntax paper=a4 is exclusive of the KoMa-Script classes (scrartcl, scrbook, scrreprt and scrlettr). No other class or package that I know accepts it. However, KoMa-Script classes recognize also a4paper. – egreg Jun 24 '12 at 15:10
@egreg sooo, which one should I use? Should I just use a4paper and be good with it, or should I use paper=a4 when using KoMa-Script classes? – polemon Jun 24 '12 at 15:17
@polemon You can always happily use a4paper – yo' Jun 24 '12 at 15:22
@tohecz why don't you add an answer that I can accept? – polemon Jun 24 '12 at 15:27
Well a4paper works will almost every class including the KOMA-classes but gives there a rather long entry in the log file that you are doing the right thing. paper=a4 is more silent. Choose what you like better. If you can't decide: throw a dice. – Ulrike Fischer Jun 24 '12 at 15:31
up vote 15 down vote accepted

The syntax paper=a4 is exclusive of the KoMa-Script classes, that is, scrartcl, scrbook, scrreprt and scrlettr.

No other class or package that I know of accepts it: the only notable exception is, of course, the package typearea, which is part of the KoMa-Script bundle, to which the paper size options given to the KoMa-Script classes are deferred.

However, typearea.sty says also


so that a4paper as global option is recognized.

My preference would be to always use a4paper. While I see virtues in KoMa-Script approach, it's non standard.

Notice that g-brief.cls uses only A4 paper, while dinbrief uses it by default, so for these two classes you can avoid specifying the option. Also scrlettr uses A4 paper by default.

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