I'd like to set a hanging indent for every paragraph in my document. Yes, I know that's unusual but that's the goal for today. I'm using the memoir document class, and so far I have the formatting pretty close to what I want but I still want to do hanging indented paragraphs. I've seen some other answers suggest that this would work:

% hanging indent?

...but I'm unsure whether I'm using that correctly, whether it works with Memoir, etc.

Here's what I've got so far.

\usepackage[paperwidth=6in, paperheight=9in]{geometry}
\let\footruleskip\undefined % undo a conflict b/t memoir and fancyhdr
\renewcommand{\headrulewidth}{0pt} % and the line
\lhead{} %blank
\chead{} %blank
\rhead{} %blank
\lfoot{} %blank
\cfoot{\thepage} %page no.
\rfoot{} %blank

% these two lines don't seem to do anything?

  • Please don't use geometry with memoir.
    – cfr
    Apr 5, 2015 at 3:00
  • 1
    Could you please explain why I shouldn't use geometry with memoir? I'm new to all this and it's difficult for me to tell what I can or cannot use together. Apr 6, 2015 at 2:31
  • memoir offers its own commands for laying out the page and it is better to use those if you can. The documentation steps you through their usage.
    – cfr
    Apr 6, 2015 at 3:02
  • Right now, \medievalpage[10] had no effect. First you don't execute the commands to set the layout. Second, geometry will interfere. If I set things up to use 9x6 in stock paper with 0 in trims then memoir complains that the requested page layout cannot be implemented.
    – cfr
    Apr 6, 2015 at 3:20

2 Answers 2


In order to make use of things like the \medievalpage[] layout, you need to follow memoir's documentation. On their own, such commands will either have no effect or cause havoc. Moreover, combining them with geometry won't work. You must use memoir's commands to layout the page.

It will also be better to avoid the conflict with fancyhdr by not using it. Since you only want a centred page number in the footer, this is easily done using plain. Fancier headers and footers can be configured using the layouts provided by memoir.

Finally, memoir offers significant support for hanging paragraphs. This includes a hangparas environment. If you wish, your entire document can be nestled within such an environment.

The following example assumes you want:

  • stock size of 6"x9"
  • zero trims i.e. the final, trimmed paper size will also be 6"x9"
  • the medieval layout specified in your MWE
  • hanging paragraphs with a .2" indentation

All of this is easy to tweak if I've misunderstood your intent. memoir offers extremely detailed documentation covering every aspect of this.

To set up the layout, we need to tell memoir:

  • the stock size
  • the trims / paper size
  • the layout

and then we must tell memoir to adjust the layout accordingly before proceeding. That is, we have to tell memoir to do the calculations required to layout the pages according to our instructions. This must be done after all tweaking to the layout is complete.


\setstocksize{9in}{6in}% sets the stock paper to this size
\settrimmedsize{9in}{6in}{*}% sets the trimmed paper to this size (i.e. no trimming)
\medievalpage[10]% sets the page layout
\checkandfixthelayout% implements the above - without this, nothing doing
\pagestyle{plain}% equivalent to the setup with fancyhdr but avoid conflicts

simple page layout with <code>memoir</code>


As far I know there is nothing wrong setting a negative \parindent and \lefskip, but another control sequence that you can use is \hangindent at the begining of one paragraph. Note that you cannot set this by default in the preamble for all the document because it is reseted after \par, but you can use some like \everypar{\hangindent3em} after \begin{document}. Note that \hangindent do not override the above settings. You can combine all obtaining additional effects:



\lipsum[2] % normal paragraph

\everypar{\hangindent3em} %this is the goal for today

\parindent3em\hangindent3em % \parindent still work

\parindent-1em\leftskip1em\hangindent1em\hangafter2 % hang-hang-indent

  • See page 127 of memoir's documentation ;).
    – cfr
    Apr 6, 2015 at 3:46

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