I am considering using ClassicThesis (among other options) for typing my course notes. The problem is that ClassicThesis is customized for A4 (and A5) paper sizes, while I need letter size paper (8.5 in by 11 in or in a more SI-friendly way, 215.9 mm by 279.4 mm). I can change the paper size simply as


And as ClassicThesis is based on KOMA-Script, I can change the text area and margins using a set of commands like below as suggested in the package itself.


The question is what are the typographically correct dimensions to use?

A similar question is posted here, but there's no definite answer (well, expect for checking the guidelines given by Robert Bringhurst's book, to which I don't have access.)

PS. It shouldn't matter, but this is for a course in electrical engineering, which will include lots of equations and figures.

1 Answer 1


Try these sizes,

\RequirePackage[letterpaper, top=1in, bottom=1.5in, 
  left=1.5in, right=1.5in,showframe=false]{geometry}

I would try and keep the ratio of the text area to the paper area to around 0.50.

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Here, is a minimal that shows the calculation of this ratio and sets the dimensions.

\RequirePackage[letterpaper, top=1in, bottom=1.5in, 
  left=1.5in, right=1.5in,showframe=false]{geometry}

You can vary the top and bottom slightly to your liking, if you wish. Best is to try printing a few pages of real text sample, before you firm your dimensions to see if it is to your liking.

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