From the layouts package manual (page 3 and 4):

The textwidth is \printinunitsof{pt}\prntlen{\textwidth} which is also \printinunitsof{in}\prntlen{\textwidth} or \printinunitsof{mm}\prntlen{\textwidth}.
prints out:
The textwidth is 433.62pt which is also 6.00117in or 152.39821mm.

But 1 inch = 25.4 mm, so 6.00117in should equal 152.429718mm. I noticed this type of inaccuracy also in a document I am currently preparing.
The number of decimals provided in the manual example seems to imply a high accuracy, but practice seems to show otherwise.
Am I seeing/doing something wrong?
If not, how accurate are the printed lengths?

  • 1
    Rounding errors.
    – egreg
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 15:09
  • How accurate are the printed lengths then? N.B.: the manual is treacherous then with its many decimals.
    – Bart
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


Floating point calculations in layouts are based on dimension arithmetic of TeX, which is not really accurate.

You get better results with the floating point module of expl3. Still not accurate to five decimals, but much more than the coarser result by layouts.


  \dim_to_decimal_in_unit:nn { #1 } { 1\use:c {l@yunits} } \, \use:c{l@yunits}



The textwidth is \printinunitsof{pt}\prntlen{\textwidth}
which is also \printinunitsof{in}\prntlen{\textwidth} or


enter image description here

  • Thanks a lot! It is sufficient precise now for my purposes. Within my view, your answer would be a good improvement for a new version of the layouts package.
    – Bart
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 18:28

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