I've looked around and can't seem to get my problem right. I'm trying to set the margins of my thesis and it looks right on screen (PDF) but when i print it it's totally different. I'm using a class file and layout (with LyX) from ucb and am trying to modify the margins to fit my schools requirements. 1.6" left, 1" elsewhere with page # top right.

For example, my left margin with the settings below measures to just under 1.5" but my understanding is the margin is set to 1.6". The distance from top of page to top of page # is measuring at 1.4" instead of 0.75"

Please let me know if I am misunderstanding things. Thanks in advance

Here is the code from the .cls

%%%%% SET THE OVERALL DOCUMENT PROPERTIES, such as page numbering,
% margins... Initialize several global document properties, but do so
% *before* the beginning of the document to forces these changes.
    \setlength{\topskip}{0in}   % first line, down from page number
    \setlength{\textheight}{8.75in} % 9"-(topmargin+headsep+headheight)
    \setlength{\parindent}{0.5in}   % somewhere between 0.3" and 0.5"
    \setlength{\labelwidth}{ 1.5em}
    \EmphReset  % bold or underlined?
    \doublespacing  % footnotes and floats still singlespaced

1 Answer 1


Things to check for the smaller error:

  1. Is the PDF paper size the same as your printer paper size? In Adobe Reader, you can check with the Document Properties, or mouse over the lower left corner of the window to check.
  2. Does the PDF get scaled when you print it out on paper, or is it printed at its original size? Check your PDF viewer's print dialog for that one.
  3. When you check the margins with an on-screen PDF, did you set the viewer's zoom level such that the width of the PDF on-screen is identical to the width of your paper size? For example, on some of our screens, a zoom of 82% results in an 8.5 inch wide page on screen, and then we can use a ruler to gauge if margins or other measurements are correct. If the zoom level is different, the ruler measurements have to be scaled accordingly.

For the larger error, you're probably failing to account for the height of a page header in addition to the regular margin.

  • THanks! My pdf viewer was scaling to fit page. it solved the problem.
    – Dominik
    Apr 12, 2011 at 23:07

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