Long time listener; first time caller here at TEX, so go easy on me. Can someone please tell me if there are any advantages of using


instead of defining the size in the paper size in the document class


Thank you.

  • If you are only choosing the paper size, there is no difference.
    – Sigur
    Dec 23, 2013 at 20:01
  • @Sigur there may be:-) Dec 23, 2013 at 20:18
  • So, the result is not the same?
    – Sigur
    Dec 23, 2013 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


By default latex knows nothing about the physical paper size (or the size of the window in a pdf viewer) It just sets a text block of specified size indented on the left. So the bottom form relies on your default viewer or printer combination defaulting to A4, however several packages (including at least hyperref, graphics, geometry) set \pdfpagewidth and \pdfpageheight (or equivalent specials with tex engines other than pdftex) which does cause the generated page size to be explicitly A4.

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