I'm currently writing a report and the professor asked me and also other students who do that to use a specific margin. My documents uses the article document class and also

\usepackage[left=25.4mm, right=25.4mm, top=25.4mm, bottom=25.4mm]{geometry} 

for setting the proper margins of the content on the page. The problem is that whenever I used itemize (I presume the same happens to enumerate and description) the items get a completely off indentation - very far to the left and even going outside the viewable part of the page:

enter image description here

I'm using the geometry package for the first time and have no idea what is happening. I have never had such issues before. Any ideas how to fix that?

  • itemize uses leftmargini as value for the first level of the list. Your geometry settings interfere with this value. And actually, the labels are too wide, in my opinion
    – user31729
    Nov 1, 2015 at 22:41
  • 1
    Why don't you use the description environment?
    – Bernard
    Nov 1, 2015 at 22:43
  • Welcome to TeX.SX! It's not geometry's fault. As Bernard says, this is a job for description.
    – egreg
    Nov 1, 2015 at 22:47
  • In other words, itemize reserves a space (\bibindent) which is only big enough for a bullet or a small number, and fills this space from the right using \llap. Anything larger gets pushed into the margin. Nov 2, 2015 at 15:00
  • Thank you for all the helpful comments. I thought that description obeys the same rules as itemize but I guess I was wrong. I changed it and it looks like a charm. @Bernard if you want to post your suggestion as an answer I would gladly accept it as such. Also I don't think I understand what @Christian Hupfer meant by "the labels are too wide". Care to elaborate on that? Nov 2, 2015 at 23:04

1 Answer 1


Note that, for really long labels, enumitem has long labels, and the label boxes, for enumerate or itemize environments are aligned from the right, at a fixed distance from the left margin of the page. To circumvent this problem, you can:

  • either use a description environment, with label boxes aligned from the left,
  • or load the enumitem package and use as an optional argument align=left, or wide (left-aligned label + left margin of the environment=left margin of the page).

Note that, if you have very long labels, enumitem allows for multined labels in description environment.

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