In documentclass article I try to put even pages on the right hand side of a twoside document (unfortunatelly it is no option for me to change the document class).

My point is to start with pagenumber 1 on the right hand side with correct margins (from pages on the right side). Any ideas how to achieve that ?


... content on the left
... content on the right
... content on the left
... content should be on the right but is placed on the left side caused by change
    in pagenumbering which leads to pagenumber reset to 1 (which is intended)
  • 6
    Why do you think you don't start at the right hand side? Add the package showframe and you will see the correct result. Sep 7, 2011 at 15:09
  • Well, thanks for asking the RIGHT question: In my opinion right pages have margins on the left side. As I found out, the other way round is "correct"! Therefore, with changing the idea a solution can be found ...
    – roland
    Sep 7, 2011 at 16:17

3 Answers 3


With the article class and the twoside class option enabled, the outer page margins will be twice as large as the inner margins (conforming to rather venerable typographic rules ;-)), and there is no binding correction. It seems you assumed LaTeX would horizontally center the textblock and add some binding correction, and so you took even (left-hand) pages for odd (right-hand) pages and vice versa.

As you cannot use another class, try the geometry package and its hcentering and bindingoffset options -- this should result in the desired margins.





  • 2
    This changes the \textwidth how can this be avoided?
    – 71GA
    Dec 5, 2013 at 13:08
  • @71GA geometry allows to tweak the textwidth using the textwidth key-value option. See section 5.3 of the documentation for details.
    – lockstep
    Dec 5, 2013 at 13:11

In twosided (recto-verso) documents, near-universal typographic practice is to have the right-hand or recto pages be odd-numbered and hence the the left-hand or verso pages be even-numbered. This practice is carried out by LaTeX if the twoside option is in force (or if you choose a documentclass, such as book, where twoside is the default).

If you really want to deviate from this practice (at least that's what I understand you want to do), just issue the following commands right after the \pagenumbering{arabic} instruction:

\phantom{a} % enter some "invisible text"
\setcounter{page}{1} % reset the page counter variable

It's admittedly kludgy, but it works.

  • OK, since in my opinion, a page on the left hand side has some extra margin on the right (just for binding) and the other way round I thought that latex just started an article (twoside) on the left hand side.
    – roland
    Sep 7, 2011 at 15:52
  • In two-sided printing, it is customary (but it's not a law!) to have the outer margins be slightly wider than the inner margins (those closer to the spine/binding). However, that's a separate issue from that of the page-numbering style. There's nothing to stop you from having the text of your document start on the left-hand side of a two-sided document. Nevertheless, I wouldn't go against the practice of having left-hand side pages be even-numbered. Of course, if you stick with this approach, your document would start on page "2".
    – Mico
    Sep 7, 2011 at 16:01
  • 1
    Thanks a lot. I tried to answer my own question but this is not allowed at this time (in 6 hrs). I'm still confused about the way margins are normally added to even/odd pages but with this knowledge it's quite simple to get what you want (eg. bindingoffset from geometry package). Nevertheless, thanks to all who answered. Maybe, if someone else is having the same "wrong" opinion, he/she could avoid wasting time by reading that postings and change his/her mind.
    – roland
    Sep 7, 2011 at 16:12
  • @roland: I'm quite sure that similar questions will turn up in the future. (BTW, welcome at tex.sx!)
    – lockstep
    Sep 7, 2011 at 16:19

Instead of coercing article.cls into doing something it never really was intended to do, it's probably easier to use another class instead. A relatively simple solution is to use memoir.cls:

\chapter{The largest document divider}
Memoir uses \verb+\chapter+ for articles as well as books, and
it's smart enough to not display \verb+\chaptername+ when
the \verb+article+ option is given.
\section{The second largest one}
Note that \verb+\section+ gets numbered as X.Y instead.

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