Shrink margins by reducing paper size

Often we are forced to write our manuscripts with a specific style file or document class, which sometimes has ridiculously large margins. Is there an easy way to work out how to shrink the paper size at the expense of reducing the margins? That is, achieve the same effect as taking a pair of scissors trimming the margins down.

Smaller margins would be nice when preparing the manuscript as it allows me to have the preview zoomed in without cropping the page. It is important that the layout of the text remains fixed; text width and page breaks have to be identical to the version with the original margins.

• look at the geometry package which has lots of facilities for setting page and margin dimensions. – David Carlisle Apr 17 '13 at 9:54
• Welcome to TeX.sx! – mafp Apr 17 '13 at 10:03
• You could say that this is the question I have: how do I use the geometry package to shrink the paper size without affecting the text flow (text width, page breaks, etc). I want to emulate someone taking a pair of scissors, cutting off large parts of the margins. – DustByte Apr 17 '13 at 10:04

If pdflatex is used, this can be done in a quick and dirty way by setting \pdf<h|v>origin and \pdfpage<width|height>. Example that reduces the margins by 1in:

\documentclass{...}
% normal papersize settings

\AtBeginDocument{%
\pdfhorigin=\dimexpr\pdfhorigin-1in\relax
\pdfvorigin=\dimexpr\pdfvorigin-1in\relax
\pdfpagewidth=\dimexpr\pdfpagewidth-2in\relax
\pdfpageheight=\dimexpr\pdfpageheight-2in\relax
}%

\begin{document}
...
\end{document}

• Thanks! This "quick and dirty way" seems to do the job for me. I wanted to be able to do this for so long. – DustByte Apr 17 '13 at 10:10