The objective is to draw circles in the place where the punch holes will be once the PDF is printed in a physical sheet of paper (If it matters, consider a two-hole punch.). Some sources say the holes are usually 0.5 in (1.27 cm) away from the edge of the paper. The closest thing I found was an answer that talks about the pdfcomment package. I have not tried that, but I think that it might be overkill and that there should be a simpler way.

Written as a more general question: How can you draw/write in the margins?

Software: texlive 2018, macOS.

  • 1
    The background package might be helpful.
    – Alan Munn
    Oct 15, 2018 at 17:46
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    You can draw anywhere (including off the page!) so long as you tell LaTeX to ignore the size of the thing you are drawing - e..g put it in a box of zero size and let it overflow. You also need a "fixed" known position on every page to use as a datum point. That's basically how the answer suggesting eso-pic works.
    – alephzero
    Oct 15, 2018 at 18:21
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    pdfcomment looks like the wrong tool, because the comments are associated with the content of the document, which might be anywhere on the page. You want your circles in a fixed position on every page.
    – alephzero
    Oct 15, 2018 at 20:56

1 Answer 1


There are lots of possibilities. A simple one is with eso-pic:




enter image description here

  • 1
    I added an image if you dont' mind.
    – Sigur
    Oct 15, 2018 at 18:22
  • Thanks Ulrike and thank you Sigur for adding an image! Any way I can achieve this without using packages?
    – evaristegd
    Oct 16, 2018 at 22:13

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