My university requires theses to be bound and printed with the following specification:

There should be a margin of at least 1.5 inches, preferably 2 inches (5cm),   
on the left side of the page, 
both for typescript and diagrams, to allow for binding. Other margins should
be of at least 1 inch (2.5 cm). 

If I plan to double-side print on A4, how can I ensure this in latex? Would the following in the preamble suffice?


I found this in someone else's thesis. My understanding is that oddsidemarin sets the left margin for odd-numbered pages, minus 1 inch, so this gives 1 inch(25.5mm)+16mm: 1.63inches on the left side of the odd-numbered pages. Then A4 dimensions are 210mm w x 297mm so \setlength{\textwidth}{140mm} along with my oddsidemargin means there will be 210-41.5-140=28.5mm=1.11inch left for the right margin of odd-sided pages. Similarly, \setlength{\textheight}{200mm} means there is 297-200=97mm=3.8inches left for both the top and bottom margins, so 1.9inches each. Not sure what \topmargin is doing here.

Do I need to set evensidemargin too? Are the above settings correct to match the university specifications?

  • 1
    Have you tried implementing this in a sample document? That would in my opinion be the easiest way to see what they actually do. You can also find the different options for page layout here.
    – drat
    Sep 27, 2013 at 13:41
  • Did a few test prints, but it looks like the wider margin is not on the side of binding for the even pages...It doesn't look like evensidemargin would be the parameter to fix this as I think it sets the left-side even margins, whereas for the even pages the binding will be on the right-hand side.
    – fpghost
    Sep 27, 2013 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


If you define inner and outer margins instead of left/right or even/odd and use the attributes of the documentclass to switch between oneside and twoside it will be all right. The example below works for me just fine.






  • 2
    You may want to set margin=1in and additionally bindingoffset=1in for the page geometry. Sep 27, 2013 at 15:26
  • @masu I tried this only with \documentclass[twoside]{report}, and the results don't seem quite correct. The even pages are good; I did a test print and the binding side margin is 2" and other side 1", great. However, the odd pages have binding side margin around 1.7" and other around 1.49" for some bizarre reason...
    – fpghost
    Sep 28, 2013 at 12:36
  • What about the output file? The output PDF is fine for me. If you have an all-right PDF (with the correct paper size !!) this is a printing problem, not TeX.
    – masu
    Sep 28, 2013 at 12:40
  • @masu No PDF bad too. However, your latex seems to work for me with the lipsum test, even when I use the report class, just not my thesis for some reason. It actually formats the first few pages correctly, but not the rest of the chapters. Could it be because I am using \input to compile multi .tex files or something?
    – fpghost
    Sep 28, 2013 at 12:47
  • Ah, sorry, problem found: I had some formatting commands hiding in one of the other input files that I had forgotten about. Seems to be working now.
    – fpghost
    Sep 28, 2013 at 12:55

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