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I apologize, if I'm missing something simple here, but I'm attempting to meet graduate school dissertation formatting requirements after (almost) finishing a PhD and I'm running into bottom text alignment issues. The grad school requires that text goes all the way to the bottom margin, which I've set at 1". If there is a new paragraph starting on the next page, it is clear that there is a blank line or two above the bottom margin on the previous page. In other instances, you can see it's off by about half of a line. I can take care of the large breaks by inserting \pagebreak and \noindent commands in the proper places, but I'm spending a lot of time trying to take care of the small differences so I came here. It's a formatting, issue, right? LaTeX treats the bottom margin as optional and favors a different appearance to the text, no?

Sorry I can't post my dissertation here, but I'm using a highly modified version of amsbook. For the margins, I'm using:

\usepackage[top=1in,bottom=1in,left=1in,right=1in]{geometry}

and for the page numbering alignment requirements, I have:

\setlength{\footskip}{0.5in}

Other packages:

\usepackage{changepage}
\usepackage{url}
\usepackage{booktabs}
\usepackage{array}
\usepackage{multirow}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{shapes,arrows, matrix}
\usepackage[compact]{titlesec}
\titlespacing*{\section}{0pt}{0pt}{0pt}
\usepackage{setspace}
\usepackage[pdftex]{lscape}
\usepackage{float}

Thank you in advance for any help. This problem has been very stressful as it's the last hurdle after 5 years of work. I hope there is a simple solution. It seems like there should be, but I'm just not finding it. Maybe it's the pressure of getting this done.

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  • Welcome to TeX.SX! Please help us to help you and add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. It will be much easier for us to reproduce your situation and find out what the issue is when we see compilable code, starting with \documentclass{...} and ending with \end{document}. You can at least post some example where this behaviour occurs, there is no need of a direction to you dissertation, apart from the relevant class and *.sty files
    – user31729
    Jun 19 '14 at 15:15
  • if \flushbottom doesn't do what you are looking for, then you will probably have to add some stretch somewhere, probably in the \parskip. it's a fact that, unless (at the particular font size in use) the vertical area for the body isn't an exact multiple of the baseline skip plus \topskip, and there's no stretch, a page of just text will always be a bit short. Jun 19 '14 at 15:21
  • Thanks. I'll try Barbara's recommendations. Christian, I'll try to get a working example, but the files are long and I'll have to design text in which there is a page break right where the paragraph ends. Hopefully adding \flushbottom here and there will help, but Barbara's comment confirms what I suspected: there may be minor differences from page-to-page due to formatting which actually improves the look in general.
    – Caleb D
    Jun 19 '14 at 19:54
  • First, make sure you don't have any \newpage commands. If you have a problem page, you can always throw in a \vfill between each paragraph. (I can hear the screams already!) Jun 24 '14 at 3:15
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 \usepackage[top=1in,bottom=1in,left=1in,right=1in]{geometry}

Firstly you should use

\usepackage[top=1in,bottom=1in,left=1in,right=1in,heightrounded]{geometry}

Otherwise the constraints specified are not achievable. On a page of text with no displays or headings that add stretchable space, the bottom line of text is necessarily an integer multiple of \baselineskip below the first line. This is unlikely to be compatible with an exact 1" bottom margin (\baselineskip is almost always a fixed length not stretchable). The heightrounded option adjusts the specified dimensions so that the pageheight is \topskip plus an integer number of \baselineskip.

Then you need to make sure that you have \flushbottom in your preamble (unless your document class already specifies that) so that LaTeX is trying to place the last line on each page at the bottom. (In comments you say "Hopefully adding \flushbottom here and there will help" but it normally only makes sense to use this as a document-global setting)

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