# Negative top margin

This is the header of a TeX file that I'm currently using:

\documentclass{article}
\topmargin -0.5in
\textheight 9in
\oddsidemargin 0in
\evensidemargin 0in
\textwidth 6.4in
\usepackage{amsmath}
\usepackage{amssymb}
\usepackage{amsfonts}
\usepackage{hyperref}
\begin{document}
\large

Is it good practice to write \topmargin -0.5in, \oddsidemargin 0in, and \evensidemargin 0in? I find that these help me get the right margins, but I'm not sure if it's a "correct" way to do it.

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I would use package geometry or classes like KOMA-Script or memoir to get good looking margins.

With geometry you can use for example

\usepackage[a4paper,left=3cm,width=13cm,right=4cm]{geometry}

to get a left margin of 3cm and a right margin of 4cm on a A4 paper. This is much more easy as to calculate it by your own ...

KOMA-Script has an build-in algorithm to calculate a proper type area depending on the choosen font size. So with

\documentclass[fontsize=12pt]{scrbook}

KOMA-Script builds a proper double sided type setting for you.