I'm trying to make sure the book has enough margin space for printing. The minimum margins are

Top: 0.5”
Bottom: 0.5”
Left: 0.5”
Right: 0.5”
Gutter: 0.3”

I don't want to use these margins for the book (most of the time, the margins I am using are much bigger than these), but I want to make sure I have at least this amount. Is there a way to draw a box around each page with the above dimensions, so that I can check to see if each page falls within the requirements? I am using

\usepackage[paperwidth=6in, paperheight=9in]{geometry} 

Thank you.

  • 2
    Try to add showframe to geometry settings. For example: \documentclass{book} \usepackage[showframe]{geometry} \usepackage{lipsum} \begin{document} \lipsum\lipsum\lipsum \end{document}
    – Zarko
    Apr 18, 2020 at 21:30
  • If I understand this correctly, your current settings already violate the constraints as the (currently symmetric) horizontal margins are somewhat smaller than 0.5"+0.3".
    – user194703
    Apr 18, 2020 at 21:36
  • 1
    Once you have fixed this, you can use \usepackage{tikz} \usepackage{eso-pic} \AddToShipoutPictureBG{\begin{tikzpicture}[overlay,remember picture] \ifodd\value{page} \draw[red,dashed] ([xshift=0.8in,yshift=0.5in]current page.south west) rectangle ([xshift=-0.5in,yshift=-0.5in]current page.north east); \else \draw[red,dashed] ([xshift=0.5in,yshift=0.5in]current page.south west) rectangle ([xshift=-0.8in,yshift=-0.5in]current page.north east); \fi \end{tikzpicture}}.
    – user194703
    Apr 18, 2020 at 21:37
  • Schrödinger - thanks, that looks nice. You're right. I was worried about the book's inner margins. The others are fine. How do you recommend I adjust it? I need a 6' x 9' page book. Otherwise, I was just relying on latex's default settings. Apr 18, 2020 at 23:54
  • My A Few Notes on Book Design (texdoc memdesign) gives many examples of page layouts. Maybe this might be helpful in your design. Apr 19, 2020 at 18:03

1 Answer 1


I used a partially transparent rectangle for the gutter. The red frame are your limits. The black frame is from geometry.

This takes two runs to work (remember picture stores the tikzpicture origin in the aux file).

\usepackage[paperwidth=6in, paperheight=9in,showframe]{geometry}
\usepackage{lipsum}% MWE only

\newcommand\drawframe{\begin{tikzpicture}[remember picture,overlay]
    \draw[red] ($(current page.south west)+(0.5in,0.5in)$) rectangle ($(current page.north east)+(-0.5in,-0.5in)$);
    \draw[red, line width=0.3in, opacity=0.5] (current page text area.south)--(current page text area.north);
\AddEverypageHook{\drawframe}% easier to debug separately


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .