If i want to print a document on a standard size paper (for example A4), and then bind it and trim it, what is the best way to tell LaTeX what the binding space and the trim size is? How do I figure out the page size, and how do I tell LaTeX what it should be.

Is there a package or a document class that will help me do that?

To clarify some more, I am trying to ask a question that someone in the following situation would find useful:

I know how to produce a LaTeX document, with sections, figures, table of contents etc. Now I want to print and bind the document, but I only have an office printer that prints on a standard size paper, and a good paper cutter that I can use for trimming/cropping. I have some options for binding (staple, spiral, glue, ...). What is the correct way to make LaTeX print the document so I can bind it and trim/crop it. Basically how to set up the correct layout of the page on the paper, without resorting to hacks like manually increasing margins to accommodate the binding and trim.

  • I'm not sure if that is what you search for, but I'm just making a package that deals with printing trim lines (you make the page sized the "smaller one" and then tell this my package the size of the larger one and it deals with that. If you want to beta-test the package, leave me an e-mail.
    – yo'
    Jan 24, 2012 at 16:46
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    See the memoir manual, there are several options for placing a trimmed page on say A4, it also have a \setbinding, though I've never used it.
    – daleif
    Jan 24, 2012 at 16:51
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    koma-script can do that. And geometry can help. Jan 24, 2012 at 17:28
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    memoir - \setbinding provides an easy way to allow for binding when using \setlrmargins{,andblock} to calculate spine, text width, and fore-edge. It subtracts the binding width from the page width, does the calculation (which may involve, for example, ratio of spine margin to fore-edge), than adds the value back to the page width and the spine margin. The "physical" spine margin consists of the "aesthetic" spine margin plus the bind. Jan 24, 2012 at 18:34

2 Answers 2


There are two questions here:

1) How to specify the page size. This is best done with the geometry package, which has good documentation. The key idea is that you only specify as many parameters as necessary, and geometry fills in the rest. For example, you could say


and have the text width and height implicitly defined.

2) How to place crop marks that delineate your user-defined page on the A4 paper. For this, you can use the crop package, for example


This package also has good documentation. Both packages are part of TeX Live so most likely you already have them installed.

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    Actually, the geometry package will do the job I want, but I believe the correct parameter to set is not paperize but layoutsize. For full trim, you can do \usepackage[twoside,papersize=letterpaper,layoutsize={7.5in,10in}, layouthoffset=.5in, layoutvoffset=.5in, showcrop]{geometry}. That should give you .5in for binding and trim. There does not seem to be a way to have different layout offset on odd and even pages. Jan 24, 2012 at 19:59
  • Ah. My version of geometry is dated and doesn't know these advanced options. I should update. Jan 24, 2012 at 21:03

The so-called binding correction can be specified using the package typearea, which is part of the KOMA-Script bundle, i.e. if you're using a KOMA-Script document class, you don't have to load the package.

A possible setup would be


If you want typearea to calculate the type area for you automatically depending on your page size, add DIV=calc:


I don't know what you mean by "trim", if you're just trying to change the margins of your page, I (and the KOMA-Script manual as well) recommend using the geometry package.

Edit: geometry can actually include a binding correction as well:


This might work well for specific margins with a binding correction. If you want a well-calculated type area, I'd recommend the typearea solution.

Edit 2, responding to Michael Palmer's comment: To decide whether you want to use typearea, read the section Construction of the Page Layout with typearea (pp. 17--42 of aforelinked document) to figure out if the calculation in use is to your liking.

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    I suggest using geometry rather than typearea, as it gives you more control. typearea has its own ideas about layout perfection that just get in the way. Jan 24, 2012 at 17:58
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    If I reserve space for crop or trim by increasing the margins, typearea will use the increased margins for calculating the optimal values of the other parameters. I will then cut parts of the margins off, which will make the calculations invalid. Jan 24, 2012 at 20:02
  • @JanHlavacek: That's right, I didn't fully understand the trimming part until I read Michael's answer. It looks like his geometry version works better. If you'd still want to use typearea, you could produce a version on smaller paper an then paste it on bigger paper using pdfpages.
    – doncherry
    Jan 24, 2012 at 20:12

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