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I have this test file which is supposed to put Hello there. near the top of the page but it does not work in so far as there is still tons of vertical space at top. How can I fix this?

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
\vspace{-10cm}
Hello there.
\end{document}
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@Peter Grill, Thanks. I will check it out. –  user1189687 Jul 5 '12 at 18:06

2 Answers 2

up vote 24 down vote accepted

The reason for the vertical space is the default margins. I would recommend using the geometry package for changing the page geometry. With the [showframe] option to the geometry package you see that the text is actually already at the top of the page, but the page has a margin before the text starts (The gray bar at the top is the top of the page):

enter image description here

To see which dimensions you need to adjust you can use \layout from the layout package. So, with the following:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[showframe]{geometry}
\usepackage{layout}

\begin{document}\layout
Hello there.
\end{document}

you get a nice image on page 1 that shows the various dimensions. From the top of this page you see:

enter image description here

So the dimensions you are interested in are (2) and (6). From the bottom of the page we see:

enter image description here

Hence you need to adjust \voffset and \headsep. Since 1.0in is added to the dimension specified in \voffset, I set that to a negative value. So, for instance setting this to:

\setlength{\voffset}{-0.75in}
\setlength{\headsep}{5pt}

you achieve:

enter image description here

Code:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[showframe]{geometry}
%\usepackage{layout}

\setlength{\voffset}{-0.75in}
\setlength{\headsep}{5pt}

\begin{document}%\layout
Hello there.
\end{document}
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Thanks. Great answer. –  user1189687 Jul 5 '12 at 17:55

To achieve a "Hello there" that is really in the top left corner of the paper, use the following bit of extreme code:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[a4paper]{geometry}
\geometry{textwidth=\paperwidth, textheight=\paperheight, noheadfoot, nomarginpar}
\setlength{\topskip}{0mm}
\setlength{\parindent}{0mm}
\begin{document}
Hello there.
\end{document}

It does away with the header, footer, margin paragraph, all related spaces as well as \topskip and \parindent. Please, refer to the geometry manual and this Cambridge University page for an explanation of the employed commands.

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