For a book class, I specify margins like this:

\usepackage[top=1.25in, bottom=1.25in, left=1.5in, right=1.25in]{geometry}

But left and right appear to behave as inner and outer. I need to have the left margin 1.5 inch, and not have it alternate from page to page.

It looks like the assymetric option should do this, but it does not appear to have any effect.


3 Answers 3


When in twoside mode, geometry uses left as inner and right as outer. You can use bindingoffset for this:


With the last option you get an integer number of lines for the text height, the rounding is as small as possible, usually unnoticeable.

This wouldn't be my preferred page setup, to be honest.

  • It isn't my preferred setup. Thesis requirements...
    – mankoff
    Oct 9, 2013 at 11:59
  • I like the simplicity of this configuration. Now I am interested: What do you suggest or what is your preferred page setup? Feb 21, 2016 at 15:51
  • @Zelphir It depends on the document; this is definitely too symmetric, in a two side context.
    – egreg
    Feb 21, 2016 at 15:53
  • @egreg lets say for a book of language exercises. What else would you change on the left or right side compare to the other? Feb 21, 2016 at 16:00
  • @Zelphir That's too generic. The decision depend on too many factors to take care of. You may try looking at the suftesi class that defines several page formats.
    – egreg
    Feb 21, 2016 at 16:05

Why don't you just change from twoside to oneside? The following example works for me just fine.


\usepackage[margin=1cm, bindingoffset=5cm]{geometry}

\usepackage{lipsum} % serving demonstration purposes only


The default value is twoside, and when you have a twosided document left and right margin specification will transform into inner and outer.

You should change the margin values of course.

  • The solution lies here folks! Jan 19, 2017 at 21:27
  • 1
    one side has other effects - for example chapters no longer start on a facing page.
    – Joe
    Oct 15, 2021 at 9:15

I solved this with the following technique:

First, \usepackage{layout} in the preamble and then \layout in the body to see what was happening.


\usepackage[top=1.25in, bottom=1.25in,
            left=1.5in, right=1.25in, twosided]{geometry}

For book class, this ignores alternating pages (all pages are identical), and all margins are 1.25 in, except the left which is 1.5 in.

  • Interesting. I think it is more like a bug than a feature (is it?), I guess the layout package does not handle twosided documents properly. You shouldn't rely on bugs because they are not backward compatible in most cases. :) If you have a lot of these bug hacks you may have some problems when you update your packages.
    – masu
    Oct 9, 2013 at 19:38
  • The layout appears to handle twosided. One \layout command produced two pages (I assume because it knew L and R would be different) and the diagram was different on each of those pages.
    – mankoff
    Oct 9, 2013 at 20:06
  • 1
    What's wrong with setting bindingcorrection?
    – egreg
    Oct 9, 2013 at 20:18
  • 1
    You mean the bindingoffset in your original answer? Not sure. It did not have the desired effect on my system.
    – mankoff
    Oct 9, 2013 at 20:49

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