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I started writing a rather large document with the default A4 paper size, two-sided, memoir format. I fear that the page size might need to become smaller than this, and my question is on how to proceed.

The pagestyle I chose, companion, has nice lines in the header into the margin, and these are asymmetric with respect to even/odd pages. I have several figures that are not scaled to textwidth (made in TikZ, their font size needs to be kept the same). Others are. Regardless, due to some fancy caption placement this can get really messy, really quickly.

So I thought of a solution: I'll trim the somewhat oversized margins and keep the textwidth the same. Problem is though, one does not simply change the margins in a memoir document.

Currently, the margins (measured in meters in the first free tool I found to do this in, PDF-XChange Editor, but actually just cm) are:

  • left: 5.4 cm (bound side), 3.6 cm (unbound side)
  • right: 3.6 cm (unbound side), 5.4 cm (bound side)
  • top: 4.5 cm
  • bottom: 4.2 cm (might be 4.1-ish)

Text width is 12 cm, and this is the one I'd like to keep constant. A probable format of paper size is 3.5 cm less wide and 4.5 cm less high, which makes for about 17.5x25.2 cm of paper size. I can trim this by removing say, 1.4cm from the right and (a proportional) 2.1 cm from the left. I'm not that interested in the top and bottom right now, I'll get to those when necessary.

So I tried:

\documentclass{memoir}
\pagestyle{companion}
\setstocksize{25.2cm}{17.5cm}
\setlrmargins{*}{2.5cm}{*}

\usepackage{blindtext}

\begin{document}
\blinddocument
\end{document}

But the odd pages are completely messed up :(. The Memoir manual is extremely cryptic on this practical problem, or I am missing something. It seems all the terms aren't drawn out on the figures preceding the sections describing \setlrmargins and friends. Any help is much appreciated!

  • always remember to run \checkandfixthelayout after you have changed the layout. – daleif Dec 1 '15 at 14:59
  • Ah yes, now it complains: Class memoir Error: \paperwidth (614.295pt) and/or \trimedge (0.0pt) are too large for \stockwidth (497.92322pt) by 116.37178pt. and Class memoir Error: \paperheight (794.96999pt) and/or \trimtop (0.0pt) are to o large for \stockheight (717.00935pt) by 77.96063pt.. I also found out the measurements I gave above correspond roughly to b5paper, which is an available option for the documentclass, and using it miraculously keeps the text width to 12 cm, keeping everything arranged where it was. Still interested in how to solve the errors though. – rubenvb Dec 1 '15 at 15:05
  • If this is to be printed, you might want to print it on A4 but still design it as a B5 placed on that A4. – daleif Dec 1 '15 at 15:10
  • @daleif why would that course of action be better than just selecting [b5paper]? – rubenvb Dec 1 '15 at 15:18
  • Because B5 paper is not always available, and you might want to control where your B5s are placed on the A4 before physical trimming. But if your printer (device or company) can handle B5, then there is no problem in just using b5paper – daleif Dec 1 '15 at 15:36

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