I am having mathematics book typed in LaTeX. It looks fine when printed on A4 paper. The paper size is specified using geometry package in book document class. Now the same book I want to print in pocket size. Which is the best option amongst the following ? 1. Just set custom paper size and margins using geometry package? 2. Use some another suitable document class or template 3. Any other way...

Also how to determine and set appropriate font size for given custom paper size?

  • You can go with the custom margins, but really have to decide on your own whether you want your reader to comfortably read it (larger font size) or to have it as kind of reference book for occasional (smaller font size) use. Concerning the font size also consider that if it should be printed it has to obey the restrictions of the printer you are using.
    – TeXnician
    Aug 29, 2018 at 12:06
  • 1
    Reading my A Few Notes on Book Design (> texdoc memdesign) may be of some help. As the author of the memoir class I heartily recommend it :-) Aug 29, 2018 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


If you love classical design, format and layout of pocket size books, then the octavo document class could be a good alternative.

The page size are set to some predefined dimensions as "foolscap"(the smallest), "royal","imperial", etc. but it seem that this change the layout, not the page dimensions on the the PDF (remain in A4 size in any case).

I do not know if this is a bug or it is intentional to print, trim and bind real books. The documentation (a TUGboat article) review extensively classical designs but, as far I can see, does not clarify this.

However, if you want to reduce the PDF dimensions to the layout, just adding the geometry package (funnily without any option) seems that solves the problem. A MWE:

\usepackage{blindtext} % tor the example text
\title{An Octavo Example}
\author{The Author}


  • Is the custom page size possible in octavo package?
    – user61681
    Aug 30, 2018 at 13:13
  • 1
    @user61681 With geometry options, some like \usepackage[paperheight=4in,paperwidth=4in]{geometry} works, but taking in account that this class im­ple­ment­ "many of the pro­pos­als and in­sights of re­spected ex­perts" I will deal only with the predefined page sizes unless strictly necessary.
    – Fran
    Aug 30, 2018 at 19:20
  • You can use any standard template for a book design, you can make it into pocket size by altering margins using geometry.sty package...
    – MadyYuvi
    Oct 29, 2018 at 15:06

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