I am formatting my dissertation using this template: https://www.overleaf.com/2943161npnxys#/8024281/

Unfortunately, the paper size in this is A4 and I need it to be letter sized.

I've tried changing the size in documentclass, and even tried changing the specifications of the a4 paper to letterpaper in the pdftex config files and that didn't do the trick.

I then verified this in MikTeX 2.9 and even tried using TeX Live and that didn't help.

I finally added geometry package and that helped. But that also resulted in the entire text of my document moving offcenter with some of the text actually going off the page.

No amount of changing the margins in geometry helps this.

How do I change the paper size?

Here's an excerpt of the code I am using

\documentclass[12pt,twoside]{Thesis} % The default font size and one-sided printing (no margin offsets)
\graphicspath{{Pictures/}} % Specifies the directory where pictures are stored
\usepackage[letterpaper,total={5.5in,9in}, top=1.0in, inner=1.5in, outer=1.0in,bottom=1.0in,,headheight=0pt,headsep=0pt,centering]{geometry}
\usepackage[square, numbers, comma, sort&compress]{natbib} % Use the natbib reference package - read up on this to edit the reference style; if you want text (e.g. Smith et al., 2012) for the in-text references (instead of numbers), remove 'numbers'
\hypersetup{urlcolor=blue, colorlinks=true} % Colors hyperlinks in blue - change to black if annoying
\title{\ttitle} % Defines the thesis title - don't touch this


\frontmatter % Use roman page numbering style (i, ii, iii, iv...) for the pre-content pages

\setstretch{1.6} % Line spacing of 1.3

% Define the page headers using the FancyHdr package and set up for one-sided printing
\fancyhead{} % Clears all page headers and footers
\rhead{\thepage} % Sets the right side header to show the page number
\lhead{} % Clears the left side page header
%\pagestyle{fancy} % Finally, use the "fancy" page style to implement the FancyHdr headers

\newcommand{\HRule}{\rule{\linewidth}{0.5mm}} % New command to make the lines in the title page

% PDF meta-data



{ \textsc{\ttitle}}\\[4.5cm] % Thesis title
{\authornames}\\[1.0cm] % Author name - remove the \href bracket to remove the link
{\normalsize{Autho 1\\ Author 2\\ Author 3}}\\[3cm] % Supervisor name - remove the \href bracket to remove the link
\normalsize{\textsc{A Dissertation}}\\
\normalsize{Submitted to the graduate faculty of The University,\\ in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of\\ \degreename}\\[0.3cm] % University requirement text
\normalsize{\textsc{City, State}}\\
  • 1
    Can you please copy a minimal portion of that code into this website? That way, if that link ever dies, someone else can be helped by your question too! BTW, Welcome to TeX.SX!
    – darthbith
    Jul 2, 2015 at 18:07
  • 2
    Please change line 43 from \PassOptionsToClass{a4paper}{\baseclass} to \PassOptionsToClass{letterpaper}{\baseclass} Please note, that there soon will be an update to the class.
    – Johannes_B
    Jul 2, 2015 at 18:20

1 Answer 1


Change line 43 and replace a4paper with letterpaper.1 ... which won't work. You would also have to delete the vmargin package with its accompanying setmarginsrb, or use \setpapersize{A0} to set the papersize to A0 (simply to see the difference better).

Please note that, in future versions of the template, it will be possible to use the capabilities of the geometry package by saying \geometry{letterpaper}.

If you have to change the margins anyway, feel free to load package geometry and change the margins according to its manual.

1 Please note that changing a class file is usually a bad idea.

  • I did make that change in the .cls but that seems to have not changed anything. I really wish I didn't have to change the margins but my school has these ridiculous margin requirements that change every few pages. Jul 2, 2015 at 18:27
  • Updated. Out of interest, why did you choose that specific template?
    – Johannes_B
    Jul 2, 2015 at 18:40
  • The term Template terror has been introduced for a very very very good reason.
    – Johannes_B
    Jul 2, 2015 at 18:59
  • 1
    Thanks!!! Getting rid of vmargins and the setmarginsrb did the trick Jul 2, 2015 at 20:03
  • Also, the reason I chose that specific template was actually convenience. It was the first one to show up which git the bill and looked good and my school doesn't provide one. Jul 3, 2015 at 23:33

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