1.) The space between the page number and the text margin is too small and I'd like to adjust it.

Somebody recommended, the geometry package, e.g.

top    = 2.75cm,
bottom = 5.50cm,
left   = 3.00cm,
right  = 2.50cm]{geometry}

but this didn't work.

2.) The left and right margin seem to be incorrect. The left margin is a little bit longer than the right one. How do I fix without doing it manually? I am a tad puzzled that this doesn't work automatically.

Here's the original code I use for my work with a small made up example to see the alignment and the bottom margin:

\documentclass[11pt, psamsfonts]{amsart}


The book centers on a boy, Bastian Balthazar Bux, who is neglected by 
his father (who has sunken into despair after his wife's death) and is 
bullied by his schoolmates. Whilst running from some of them, Bastian 
bursts into the antique book store of Carl Conrad Coreander. Bastian 
steals a book from the store called The Neverending Story which 
Coreander has been reading; he hides in his school's attic, where he 
proceeds to read the story through the rest of the day and the night, 
not realizing that he has effectively become a part of it. After a while
of reading he is magically transfixed and is brought into the book.\\[15cm]

Bastian comes to Fantastica and meets the empress; she asks 
him to help re-build Fantastica with his imagination, and he subsequently
 has many adventures of his own in his new world. With the help of 
AURYN, a medallion that links him to the empress, that grants all of the 
boy's wishes and, thus, gives him power over all the inhabitants of 
Fantastica, Bastian explores the Desert of Colors, battles the evil witch 
Xayide, and meets the three deep thinkers. In the Desert of Colors, 
he is told that the inscription of The Gem ("Do what thou wilt[1]") 
means it is his job to find out his own True Will ("and nothing is 
more difficult"); certainly not wishing whatever comes to his mind, even 
though The Gem does fulfil these wishes.

2 Answers 2


With amsart you need to issue the \calclayout command after having set the page parameters.

The difference in the margins is because you specify \oddsidemargin: since the default paper is US Letter, which is 215.9mm wide, an \oddsidemargin of 4mm, added to 1in (this is always added) and a \textwidth of 160mm you have a total of

4 + 25.4 + 160 = 189.4

so the right margin will be 26.5mm against 29.4mm for the left margin.

Just remove the setting of \oddsidemargin and \evensidemargin. The class will compute them to be 7.25546pt = 2.55mm. The above computation becomes

2.55 + 25.4 + 160 = 187.95

and the right margin will be

215.9 - 187.95 = 27.95

exactly equal to the right margin.



will do what you want. The computation will give equal margins also if A4 paper is used.

You have also to take into account that amsart computes the header in the \textheight, so your setting will not give a type area 230mm high, but less. If you don't need headers, just set


before \calclayout. I wouldn't touch \topmargin.

The nearness of the first page number to the text is a very well known defect of amsart and is somewhat unavoidable.

Don't use the obsolete psamsfonts option.

  • mille grazie! I am just curious: Is there a way to fix the nearness of the page numbering and the text by hand? Mar 14, 2013 at 16:53
  • @MichaelKohlhaas Not on the first page, I'm afraid; not easily, anyhow. Use \thispagestyle{empty}. ;-)
    – egreg
    Mar 14, 2013 at 17:47

You have two documentclass commands in your example, the first one is using US letter paper, and the second one commented out is using A4. Since in TeX you only specify the left margin and the textwidth, the right margin is implicit depending on the paper size. You haven't said what size you are using.

If you add

[\the\dimexpr 1in +\oddsidemargin\relax]
[\the\dimexpr\paperwidth- 1in -\oddsidemargin-\textwidth\relax]

to your MWE you get

 [614.295pt] [83.65108pt] [75.39984pt] 

which shows that on US Letter the left margin is 8 or so points larger than the right

If you add a4paper to the document options you get

 [597.50787pt] [83.65108pt] [58.61272pt] 

which shows a reduced right margin in A4.

Since these are the result of the explicit lengths you set in the preamble, there's not a lot of advice one can give other than setting different values.

geometry helps to let you make settings that depend more naturally on the page size.


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