TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm hoping to create a book at the site lulu using LaTeX instead of Microsoft Word, and they say:

Leave at least .5" margins on all your pages. Most books will require a gutter of .2" to .3".

I know how to set the .5" margins, but I've never done much with the book documentclass. Do I need to specifically tell it to add a gutter? Whether or not gutter is added by default, I guess I need to know how to specify that .2", since that is pretty specific.

share|improve this question
up vote 9 down vote accepted

You can use the geometry package to define the inner margin with the twoside option. If you want to leave a 0.5" in each margin, plus a 0.2" for the binding:



After @egreg and @doncherry coment, the following configuration will be the preferred way:

\usepackage[bindingoffset=0.2in, left=0.5in, right=0.5in]{geometry}

share|improve this answer
Wouldn't bindingoffset be better? It works independently of oneside or twoside. – egreg Nov 5 '12 at 14:24
@egreg You are right. I miss this option. In this case I guess that the configuration will be \usepackage[bindingoffset=0.2in, left=0.5in, right=0.5in]{geometry} – TeXtnik Nov 5 '12 at 16:35
I got used to hmargin={0.7in,0.5in}, the package will assume inner/outer or left/right according to oneside or twoside option (non)present. – yo' Nov 5 '12 at 16:40
@zunbeltz: Why don't you go ahead and edit that into your answer as the "preferred way"? – doncherry Nov 5 '12 at 16:43

You may also want to take a look at KOMA-Script book class (scrbook). KOMA has built-in support for "binding correction":


The nice thing here is that KOMA-Scripts layout engine (typearea) incorporates this directly into the calculation of the layout.

If you do not want to use scrbook, you may also use the typearea package together with your favorite book class:

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.