I am trying to use memoir's page features to create a huge document (a poster).

It will be one of those fancy science fair presentation boards that consists of two 36in*48in stacked against each other, both in landscape orientation. So my document will be 72in*48in.

Here's the code.


%% The stock paper size

%% The 'real' page size

%% The stock paper will be trimmed 3mm from the
%% top edge and 3mm from the left edge

%% Spine and trim page margins from main typeblock

%% Top and bottom page margins from main typeblock

%% Header occupies height of a single line;
%% Bottom edge of footer is 7mm from bottom edge
%% of typeblock

%% Bottom edge of header is 7mm from top edge of
%% typeblock

%% Apply and enforce layout


Is this a limitation of memoir? The class works perfectly for smaller posters. If so, what are some workarounds? geometry, I believe, doesn't work too well.

EDIT: Try adding some multicol. That's what I meant.

  • I get a PDF and no error from the example document.
    – egreg
    Dec 31, 2013 at 0:31
  • My PDF comes out approx. the correct dimensions, as well. Is the problem that they are not exactly correct?
    – cfr
    Dec 31, 2013 at 0:33
  • @egreg @cfr Try adding multicol in the doc. Dec 31, 2013 at 0:38
  • 1
    The maximum dimension that TeX can manage is about 226in; since 72*4=288, there's no hope of using four columns. Of course you can scale down your poster to a manageable dimension and then print a scaled up rendering. You won't be using 10pt size on such a huge panel, will you?
    – egreg
    Dec 31, 2013 at 0:48
  • @egreg Could Lua-/XeTeX work? Dec 31, 2013 at 0:52

1 Answer 1


The maximum length managed by TeX is 16383.99998pt, which corresponds to 226.71in (575.83cm). If you have a big sheet 72 inch high, then four columns would require typesetting a 288 inch high box, which is too much. TeX would complain at the time the columns are being split, because it is able to build a box with any dimension (subject only to memory limitations), but it can't operate on a box that exceeds the maximum length.

The best strategy in this case is to build a scaled down version. Scaling by half each dimension could be enough; when printing, just scale up. Also the fonts will be scaled up, so you need to keep this into account; but nobody would produce a 72⨉48 inch poster with a font size at 10pt. If you double the size in print, you'd automatically get a 20pt font. If that's not what you want, just make a balance (but I'd say that 20pt is a bare minimum for such a poster).

  • Thank you. By the way, the 10pt was just a test (as evidenced by the lipsuming. MWE.). The real poster is 24pt. I'll just scale a raster when it's printing time. Jan 2, 2014 at 18:57

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