# Setting Margins Exactly - Geometry Package

My University's thesis requirements for margins (letter paper 8.5in x 11in) are as follows:

Top: 1 inch; Left: 1.25 inch; Right: 1.25 inch; and Bottom: 1.0 inch

I was/am having difficulty fulfilling these requirements using LaTeX. It's unclear to me whether or not the page numbering is pushing the first line of text further than the 1 inch top margin (e.g., 1.2 inches down?). I would like the first line of text to begin EXACTLY 1 inch below the top of the page and would like the page number to fit within the top margin space, so that it fits neatly there without sitting too close to the body of the text.

When you compile my MWE, look at pages 3 & 4. The manner in which these are displayed show the layout/spacing I have in my thesis. I would like more space between the page number and the body of text while preserving the 1 inch top margin.

\documentclass[man,12pt,floatsintext,longtable,noextraspace,natbib, tmargin=1in, lmargin=1in, rmargin=1in, bmargin=1in, tmargin=1in, lmargin=1.25in, rmargin=1.25in, bmargin=1in]{apa6}
\usepackage{layouts}
\usepackage{lipsum} % for dummy text only

%geometry and fancyhdr packages loaded automatically by apa6 document class.


@R. Shumacher showed me the layouts package to allow me to see my page defaults, which was helpful.

I set some page layout parameters manually in the preamble:

\setlength{\voffset}{0.0in}
\setlength{\topmargin}{0in}
\setlength{\textheight}{9in}

\begin{document}
\titlepage


% Create Header information for Arabic Arabic Numbering.

\fancyhf{} % clear all header and footers
\setcounter{page}{1}
\pagenumbering{arabic}
\fancyheadoffset{0cm}  % This is so page number does not extend into right margin (thesis requirements).
\rhead{\thepage}  % Center the page number at the Footer
\pagestyle{fancy}


% Below uses commands from the "layouts" package in order to determine exact margin setup.

\drawdimensionstrue
\printinunitsof{in}
\pagediagram   % draws diagram with all layout vernacular identified (except bottom margin)
\pagevalues
\currentpage


\vspace{0.5in}
\lipsum
\end{document}


MWE is below. I would like more space between the page number and the body of the text WITHOUT pushing the body of the text greater than the required 1 inch margin.

\documentclass[man,12pt,floatsintext,longtable,noextraspace,natbib, tmargin=1in, lmargin=1in, rmargin=1in, bmargin=1in, tmargin=1in, lmargin=1.25in, rmargin=1.25in, bmargin=1in]{apa6}
\usepackage{layouts}
\usepackage{lipsum} % for dummy text only

\setlength{\voffset}{0.0in}
\setlength{\topmargin}{0in}
\setlength{\textheight}{9in}

\begin{document}
\titlepage

\fancyhf{} % clear all header and footers
\setcounter{page}{1}
\pagenumbering{arabic}
\fancyheadoffset{0cm}  % This is so page number does not extend into right margin (thesis requirements).
\rhead{\thepage}  % Center the page number at the Footer
\pagestyle{fancy}

\drawdimensionstrue
\printinunitsof{in}
\pagediagram   % draws diagram with all layout vernacular identified (except bottom margin)
\pagevalues
\currentpage

\vspace{0.5in}
\lipsum
\end{document}

• add the option showframe to geometry to see the "frame" of the various text elements. – jon Jun 20 '15 at 2:04
• Why are you using the apa6 document class? This is designed for submission to APA journals, and I suspect will have other issues that your university will not like (e.g. unnumbered sections) and you will spend a lot of time undoing the class functionality. If you need APA bibliography formatting, I recommend using biblatex-apa and then building your thesis document using either the KOMA class or memoir. – Alan Munn Jun 20 '15 at 2:07
• Sorry: you can add the option to \geometry{}, which is another way to load options for the geometry package, which (I assume) this class loads behind the scenes. – jon Jun 20 '15 at 2:38
• @user76245 Use the package layouts This is a link to a TeX.SE question and answer tex.stackexchange.com/questions/42371/margins-and-text-position/… And the documentation, note pg 3, provides needed details, especially getting dimensions in inches or millimeters. ctan.sharelatex.com/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/layouts/… – R. Schumacher Jun 20 '15 at 3:04
• Or use the package layout which is more current. – R. Schumacher Jun 20 '15 at 3:11

If this is literally the last thing you need to fix, the following should work.

\geometry{reset, letterpaper, height=9in, width=6in, hmarginratio=1:1, vmarginratio=1:1, marginparsep=0pt, marginparwidth=0pt, headheight=15pt}


Remove all manual settings for layout dimensions from the preamble. If you need to make adjustments, add them to the argument you feed \geometry{}.

So, with your MWE, my document looks like this:

Close-up of layout dimensions:

Note that this is right. You don't want the margins to be what they are meant to be, because you want the height of the header and the separation between the header and the text to be 'taken out' of the margin. You want \topmargin to be 0in minus the height of the header and the separation between header and text body. You want the left and right margins to be .25in. You want a text body of 6in by 9in. We let geometry figure out the actual values to feed everything.

[LaTeX has margins of 1in all round. These dimensions are additions to or subtractions from those. So a left margin of .25in in LaTeX's terms is a left margin of 1.25in in the terms of your thesis office. geometry offers the ability to enter either the commonsensical or the native dimensions, but here we let it do most of the calculations for us.]

Note also, that these are LaTeX's dimensions. These do not all have the same meaning as the same terms in geometry. But this seems to be what you want.

\documentclass[man,12pt,floatsintext,longtable,noextraspace,natbib,letterpaper]{apa6}
\usepackage{layouts}
\usepackage{lipsum} % for dummy text only

\geometry{reset, letterpaper, height=9in, width=6in, hmarginratio=1:1, vmarginratio=1:1, marginparsep=0pt, marginparwidth=0pt, headheight=15pt}

\begin{document}
\titlepage

\fancyhf{} % clear all header and footers
\setcounter{page}{1}
\pagenumbering{arabic}
\fancyheadoffset{0cm}  % This is so page number does not extend into right margin (thesis requirements).
\rhead{\thepage}  % Center the page number at the Footer
\pagestyle{fancy}

\drawdimensionstrue
\printinunitsof{in}
\pagediagram   % draws diagram with all layout vernacular identified (except bottom margin)
\pagevalues
\currentpage

\vspace{0.5in}
\lipsum
\end{document}

• Fantastic!!! :-) Very detailed and helpful explanation. – Edward Jul 12 '15 at 1:21
• @user76245 Glad it helped. The reset option is fantastic! I just corrected the explanation. (LaTeX doesn't actually have a right margin dimension at all - I should have used left for my example ;).) – cfr Jul 12 '15 at 1:24

Quick example of layouts. This is a very versatile package. It can be used to carefully examine the layouts of any of the subparts of a document. The documentation must be read and experimented with to understand the command sequence. http://texdoc.net/texmf-dist/doc/latex/layouts/layman.pdf

\documentclass[10pt,letterpaper]{article}
\usepackage{layouts}
\usepackage[tmargin=1.5in, lmargin=1.25in, rmargin=1.25in, bmargin=1.0in]{geometry}
\begin{document}
\drawdimensionstrue
\printinunitsof{in}
\pagediagram
\pagevalues
\currentpage
\end{document}


Yields: