I want to decrease the white space on either side of my body of text. Is there a specific property I can edit to do this, or would I need to import a package and use that?

I don't think it's particularly appropriate to include my code, so I won't unless I am told that it is actually relevent to the question.

I am using the article document class.

  • You can do that by hand, but i would certainly prefer to use package geometry.
    – Johannes_B
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 14:35
  • 2
    It sounds like you just want to alter the margins: is that correct? If so, we will need to know what document class you are using (assuming LaTeX, of course).
    – Joseph Wright
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 14:35
  • I'm using the article class, and yes I do just want to adjust my margins
    – Stormie
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 14:43

3 Answers 3


Like the others I prefer and would highly recommend the geometry package, (note that I have also included the showframe package which shows the margins). MWE:

    %\usepackage{showframe} %This line can be used to clearly show the new margins

    \newgeometry{vmargin={15mm}, hmargin={12mm,17mm}}   % set the margins

    Insert your relatively wide text here

An alternative package is a4wide which makes the page size more MS word like:

    %\usepackage{showframe} %This line can be used to clearly show the new margins

    Insert your word like text here

If for some reason you'd rather not use a package I highly recommend you visit the WikiBooks site. Using the \setlength command:

    %\usepackage{showframe} % This line can be used to clearly show the new margins

    \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{11pt}% the default is 31pt so decrease by 20pt
    \setlength{\textwidth}{430pt}% the default is 390pt so increase by 40pt

    Insert your 40 pt wider text here, note 1pt ≈ 0.3515mm

You can use the geometry package:


Some classes (KOMA-Script, memoir) have internal means to do the same thing but the geometry package should work everywhere.


You could try something simple in the geometry package, such as adding \usepackage[margin=1in]{geometry} to the preamble for 1 inch margins.

  • 1
    While this might be a solution to the question, a full working example is much appreciated.
    – user31729
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 14:40

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