# Setting margins exactly

My thesis formatting requires 1.5-inch margin on the left side and a 1-inch margin on the three remaining sides. Since all pages must be printed on one side of the page, I used the following:

\documentclass[oneside,12pt]{book}
\usepackage[top=1in, bottom=1in, left=1.5in, right=1in]{geometry}
\pagestyle{plain}
\begin{document}

some text here

\end{document}


But something is wrong. On the even pages the left margin is little smaller than 1.5 inch. And on the odd pages the right margin is less than 1 inch. I couldn't figure out what's wrong.

• 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 might also want to add to your question how you're including the pdfs etc. – Aradnix Sep 9 '14 at 4:58
• Why are you using the option oneside in the documentclass? Thanks for the snippet, but that is not a full MWE. Read carefully the comment above this one. And read the links please. – Aradnix Sep 9 '14 at 4:59
• I am not an experienced user, I found that use in a blog. – lobeam Sep 9 '14 at 5:00
• Make sure that the pdf-viewer (and your printer) doesn't scale down the page during printing. – Ulrike Fischer Sep 9 '14 at 9:24
• @UlrikeFischer Good reminder -- I just discovered I had spent hours trying to fix LaTeX margin settings that were actually the result of the printer. – musarithmia Sep 9 '14 at 13:12

Normally, A4 papersize is assume, but I specified it directly. The showframe option to the geometry package shows the margins

\documentclass[oneside,12pt,letterpaper]{book}
\usepackage[letterpaper,top=1in, bottom=1in, left=1.5in, right=1in,showframe]{geometry}
\usepackage{blindtext}
\pagestyle{plain}
\begin{document}

\blindtext

\end{document}


Print this document, use a ruler and measure the margins with it.

The screen shot shows the frame, the thick black border is from the window background, it has nothing to do with the *.pdf output.

• Is there a specific reason for a4paper? It will be printed on letter-size. – lobeam Sep 9 '14 at 5:10
• @lobeam: Did you mention letter size at all? ;-) – user31729 Sep 9 '14 at 5:11
• No, but isn't letter-size default? – lobeam Sep 9 '14 at 5:12
• Depends on the settings of TL at installation -- In Germany with don't use lettersize. You can change it, of course, to lettersize – user31729 Sep 9 '14 at 5:14
• @lobeam The default size in the stanrdard classes such as article or book is in fact lettersize. If you don't specify in the options of the class, your document will be printed in letter size sheets. – Aradnix Sep 9 '14 at 5:14

For the record, a leaner solution would be:

\usepackage{fullpage}
\setlength{\oddsidemargin}{.5in}


fullpage sets all margins to 1in and the \pagestyle to plain by default, so you only have to increase the \oddsidemargin by .5 in and compensate the displacement by decreasing \textwidth by the same amount.

Another possibility:

\documentclass[12pt]{book}
\usepackage[letterpaper,top=1in, bottom=1in, left=1.5in, right=1in,showframe]{geometry}
\usepackage{blindtext} %creates a dummy for a document.
\usepackage{layout} % shows you the layout composition of the pages.
\pagestyle{plain}
\begin{document}

\Blinddocument % Creates a large document that shows you a whole description of the layout of a document such as book.
%\blinddocument % The same like the first but with a shorter document, such as article.

\layout % This show you a diagram with all the variables and values that use the documentclass you're using.

\end{document}


Is almost the same like in the answer of Christian, but I use the macro \Blinddocument for create a full dummy that shows you a better and more complete layout. I also added the package layout that shows you see a diagram that can be useful for edit the dimensions of the page, although geometry does it very easy.