In a "onesided" memoir-based document, two custom \newcommands use both the marginpar and the sidepar commands respectively. The marginpars go to the right side and the sidepars on the left side. Some demo code (updated after followin up comments):


%\setmarginnotes{0.5em}{3cm}{2em} % margins?
\usepackage{layouts} % layout

% custom sidepar, marginpar
\newcommand{\marginhead}[1]{\sidepar[{\footnotesize\vspace{0.8em}\flushleft #1}]{}}



% headers

\marginhead{\sffamily {{\vskip -0.1em} MarginHead}}

Contributing in... \rdate{03.\,2015 -- 09.\,2015}

Monitoring... \rdate{Apr 2013 -- Dec 2013}

\marginhead{\sffamily {{\vskip -0.1em} MarginHead Two}}

Contributing in... \rdate{03.\,2015 -- 09.\,2015}

Monitoring... \rdate{Apr 2013 -- Dec 2013}



I would like to

  • define custom widths for the margins in each side of the onesided memoir page (left and right) -- is this possible since \sidepar takes its dimentions from \marginpar?
  • then, shift the start of the left margin so it comes closer to the textblock, leaving the right margin as well as the text body (positions and widths) intact.
  • (another update) the content in the left margin should be flushleft or its equivalent (?) ragged-right.

In the following mockup, I am trying to explain what the end-product would look like.

Shift start of left margin

I read through the manual, various Q&As in TeX.SE and elsewhere. Still, I can't find the answer, if this is possible.

Another update

More details after Zarko's answer via two mockups. The MWE in https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/272493/8272 derives:

Zarko's MWE

The desired layout, more or less, is the following:

Desired result

  • At given right margin and text width the left margin is already defined. How you imagine to change left margin at fixed text and right margin width? Or do I miss something? Can you make a sketch (by hand) what you like to achieve?
    – Zarko
    Oct 12, 2015 at 1:38
  • @Zarko I want to decrease the marginparwidth for the left margin. I simply want the maginalia, on the left, be closer to the body text. Did you try the demo code? Oct 12, 2015 at 6:48
  • I now understand the \setlrmargin command. I didn't understand what exactly the fore-edge is. In memoir's manual, there isn't a single visual explanation of it. Only a sentence "...the fore-edge, or outer, margin...", page 16 (version v3.7b, 2013/05/30). Though, I am not sure this is the latest version. Maybe I simply need \setlrmarginsandblock{hspinei}{hedgei}{hratioi}? Oct 12, 2015 at 7:08
  • @Zarko You were right, my question was not clear. I've updated. Oct 12, 2015 at 7:50
  • Updated the mockup as well. Oct 12, 2015 at 10:19

1 Answer 1


Edit (3): Your questions is not clear even its upgrades and comments. In before efforts to help you I try to pointed, what and how to do or what is possible to do (from point of you of my guessing what is the problem) for solving your problem. As you respond, the answer is not what you looking for :-( ).

After while I decide to resume my efforts in form, with more explanation (without hope, that it will be recognized as helpful, more for my exercises :-)).

The preparing of my answer I made the following steps: - remove all irrelevant part of provided MWE (layout package and macros connected with it)

  • redefine definition of new commands, now the align notes content with help of added package ragged2e on smart way to the left and right text border and eliminate all presented vertical shifts (which purpose is unclear):

\newcommand{\marginhead}[1]{\sidepar{\sffamily\footnotesize \RaggedLeft #1}} \newcommand{\rdate}[1]{\marginpar[]{\sffamily\footnotesize \RaggedRight #1}}

  • add explanation how to determine distance of side and margin notes from text borders (where I assume, that distance for the side notes and margin notes have to be the same):

\setmarginnotes{5mm} % distance between text border margin notes box {30mm}% width of margin notes box {3mm} % distance between two successive margin notes % note: it doesn't effect on side notes!

  • add showframe packageto MWE for showing, where is the text border (since MWE use preset of the first line indent, so one line text are moved from text border for 2em (length of the indentation)

Now I add lipsum package for adding dummy text, by which I hope will give better filling about position of side and margin notes and see indentation of the first line in paragraph. If you don't like to have indentation, then put in preamble \setlenght{\indent}{0pt}. Also I further simply definitions of commands for side and margin notes.

Open stay question, if lik to have different distance from text for side notes (on the left side of page) from distance of margin notes (on the right side page). IN this case you can do the following (not showed in my MWE):

  • by \setmarginnotes set minimal distance of both notes
  • accordingly change definition of newcommand for notes which should have bigger distance to text. For example for \rdate

\newcommand{\rdate}[1]{\marginpar[]{% \hspace{5mm}\begin{minipage}[t]{\marginparwidth-5mm} \sffamily\footnotesize \RaggedRight #1 \end{minipage}}}

In this case you need to add package calc into your document preamble. How this can look out for zero margin note distance and then shifting margin notes for 5mm to right side is below:

enter image description here

Complete WME is:

%\setlength{\parindent}{0pt} % set paragraph indentation to zero

% preset margin notes, it can be changed according to user wish
\setmarginnotes{5mm} % distance between text border margin notes box
               {30mm}% width of margin notes box
               {3mm} % distance between two successive margin notes
                     % note: it doesn't have effect on side notes!   
\usepackage{ragged2e}  % for use in margin notes content align

\usepackage{showframe} % show page layout
\usepackage{lipsum}    % for dummy text

% custom sidepar and marginpar
                                     \RaggedLeft #1}}
\newcommand{\rdate}[1]{\marginpar[]{\RaggedRight #1}}

    \marginhead{MarginHead}% lonely side note

Some text: 
    \rdate{03.\,2015 -- 09.\,2015}
    \marginhead{rule below show side note box width

Monitoring... %
    \rdate{03.\,2015 -- 09.\,2015

Which gives:

enter image description here

To summarize:

  • distance between text border and side and margin notes is determined by \setmarginnotes
  • vertical distance between margin notes is also determined by \setmarginnotes, however, this not determine vertical distances between side notes. If they are to close, they will overwrite each other
  • to have different distance for side notes and margin notes it should be by \setmarginnotes set minimal distance, bigger can be achieved by shifting a minipage inside margin note for desired amount.
  • special care for verical aligning os side and margin notes isn't necessary. IN normal circumstances (when they are not to close to each other) they will perfectly aligned to anchored line in the main text.
  • side note, which is not anchored to the text, "generate" empty line in a text to which is anchored

The End!

  • I updated the question. Removing \flushleft would not align multiple marginhead entries on the left (that is the beginning of the left margin, in this case) -- right? I still want to flush-left. And still want the marginheads start more in the inside, closer to the text-body. Hopefully my mockup explains is. Oct 12, 2015 at 8:44
  • If you have multi line left side notes, than the text will be right aligned. If you like to have limited on left side to, than you need to introduce parbox, see new image in my answer.
    – Zarko
    Oct 12, 2015 at 9:14
  • As the custom command's name marginhead implies, it's only for headings. One word, usually in my case (it is a CV). There are some headings consisting of two words, and when they expand to a second line, in my current layout, they align to the left. Oct 12, 2015 at 9:17
  • Why isn't the frame for the left margin "notes" drawn? Oct 12, 2015 at 10:03
  • Thanks for the details. Yet, \RaggedRight would be what I would like for the left margin. If I am not wrong, \RaggedLeft is (almost) the same as flushright? see also tex.stackexchange.com/a/3645/8272 Oct 12, 2015 at 10:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.