I was searching for this for a while now and I keep getting referred to an article about binding correction (probably in german) that seems to be offline.

Another tip was to measure the horizontal distance across a double page for an already bound book with similar binding, paper thickness and number of pages. The difference of half this size and the actual paper dimensions can be used as a binding correction.

Unfortunately, I don't have a similar book. I hope you guys can give me some good estimates how to calculate the binding correction. In my case the 'book' is a thesis of 120 pages (twoside, so actually about 60 pages) printed on 'typical printer paper' (I guess that's 80 g/m²). I don't known the English name for the binding I want to use, but it translates to 'clamp binding' and looks like this:

enter image description here

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    Do you speak German? The documentation of KOMA-script has an extra section about binding: scrguide Dec 18, 2011 at 12:02
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    @MarcoDaniel: While scrguide is a great resource on this kind of stuff, I don't think it includes a guide to calculate the binding correction. Flogo, your tip sounds quite reasonable. Otherwise, I'm afraid you'll have to guess since the bcor will vary greatly depending on the way of binding and the number of pages. Looking at your photo, I'd measure the the length that actually goes in the binding and add a two or three millimeters.
    – doncherry
    Dec 18, 2011 at 12:29
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    There is no real standard and best to get advise from whoever is going to bind the book for you. There is an online calculator if you want to try and get an estimate printgraphics.com.au/index.php/weight-and-creep Dec 18, 2011 at 13:20
  • The server dante.de is up again, so you'll be able to read the article now.
    – diabonas
    Dec 18, 2011 at 13:41

1 Answer 1


Thanks for all your helpful comments. I'll try to compose an answer from them and the article that is now reachable again (thanks @diabonas for noting that).

The way I see this now, binding correction depends too much on the actual binding to make any good guess without having a similar book at hand as @doncherry noted. However, Markus Kohm, the author of the mentioned article, gives two basic estimations that can be done without knowing the specifics:

  1. Binding glue can take up as much as 1mm by itself
  2. With a good binding the correction should be no more than half the thickness of all pages, i.e. half the height of the stack of paper you want to bind.

Markus Kohm lists two other methods that can be done if you happen to have a book in a similar format at hand. In contrast to the method I posted in the question, this doesn't have to have the same page layout. I actually didn't quite understand how the first one should work, but thought I should list a rough translation for those that cannot reach the file or don't speak German:

You need a book with the same paper format as the papers you want bind. Take a piece of paper that is twice this format and fold it down the middle. Fold it up and down until the fold is worn out a bit. Now open the book in the middle, firmly hold your page to the book and slam it shut without moving the page. The part of the page that sticks out of the book is your binding correction

For the other method you open the book in the center and put a ruler or piece of card board vertically in the center. Now push a piece of paper against the ruler and measure the part that sticks out over the pages of the book.

  • Can you expand on the two techniques? I don’t really understand the second one (neither in English nor in the German original) and I cannot apply the first because I lack a sufficiently large piece of paper; in fact, when using the method you’ve described in the question, I get a binding correction of 11.5 mm (but the book didn’t lie flat since I didn’t want to fold the paper). This is about as much as the complete thickness of the bound book, contrary to Markus’ rule of thumb that it shouldn’t exceed half the thickness. What gives? Jan 12, 2016 at 16:10
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    Hi Konrad. I tried to draw how I understand the second technique. Please excuse the bad drawing, I am very bad at drawing even when its not with a trackpoint ;-) sketchtoy.com/66461862
    – Flogo
    Jan 13, 2016 at 17:34
  • Also, both this method and the one you tried depend on the amount of pressure that you apply to the book, i.e., how much you flatten it. I guess there is no one correct answer here. If you measure the correction in a book without flattening it, but your reader will flatten your book, the correction will appear too large. On the other hand, if you flatten the book to measure it, and your reader doesn't, its going to appear too small. So try to find a middle ground.
    – Flogo
    Jan 13, 2016 at 17:39
  • Thanks, this is indeed a great clarification, and it solved my problem. Jan 13, 2016 at 17:58
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    @Dave, I used 15mm for roughly 100 pages (don't remember the weight) in a binding as the one in the picture above; it looks fine to me. But don't stress it too much. This doesn't seem to be an exact science and being off a bit won't be too bad.
    – Flogo
    Jan 3, 2019 at 15:46

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