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KOMA-Script provides the scrlttr2 and scrletter classes, which, in contrast to the standard class letter, has the flexible design common to other KOMA-Script classes.

One observation about letter is the very good results, with no configuration, for personal letters, for example, letters with just a date, salutation, body, and signature.

The design of KOMA-Script letter classes appears to emphasize templates called Letter Class Options, of which several are included in the distribution, representing formatting standards for business correspondence in various countries. Among these, DIN, representing a definition given by the German Institute for the Standardization, appears to be loaded by default if none is given explicitly. Such design seems to exclude the possibility of creating a letter with formatting not related to some business standard, except of course through creating an LCO representing some preferred formatting for a personal letter.

For example, the KOMA-Script manual (Table 4.19) describes the DIN Letter Class Option set as follows:

parameters for letters on A4 paper, complying with German standard DIN 676;suitable for window envelopes in the sizes C4, C5, C6, and C6/5 (C6 long).

Naturally, windowed envelopes are not generally useful for personal letters, nor is it useful that such a requirement would constrain the formatting of the letter.

An obvious suggestion is not to use KOMA-Script for personal letters, in preference to the standard class, but I have come to value the comparatively flexible design of KOMA-Script classes over the standard ones.

What might be a good way to invoke either scrlttr2 or scrletter without including any formatting details specifically targeted for commercial correspondence?

A minimal example of a personal letter might be one that includes a date, a salutation, a body, and a closing, but not necessarily any address information.

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  • Maybe you can show, what you've got so far. It's hard to guess, what you want...
    – DG'
    Jan 3 '21 at 23:51
  • @DG, A letter with the KOMA-Script classes is by default formatted as a German business letter. What I want, if nothing else, is not that. I also don't want a letter formatted as Swiss, American, or any other business letter. What I have so far is one of these.
    – epl
    Jan 4 '21 at 0:01
  • What I meant was: Please make a minimal working example (MWE) showing, what you've got so far
    – DG'
    Jan 4 '21 at 0:09
  • @DG I don't think that a MWE applies to this question. I am asking about design not troubleshooting. At least, I have no idea how a MWE would look for this question.
    – epl
    Jan 4 '21 at 0:11
  • Well, without code to play with and more detailed descriptions of what you think, a personal letter consists of, it will be hard to help
    – DG'
    Jan 4 '21 at 0:15
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You can disable foldmarks, addrfield and firsthead using foldmarks=false,addrfield=false,firsthead=false as class options (with class scrlttr2) or package options (with package scrletter) or using \KOMAoptions{foldmarks=false,addrfield=false,firsthead=false}.

\documentclass{scrlttr2}
\KOMAoptions{foldmarks=false,addrfield=false,firsthead=false}
\usepackage{blindtext}% only for dummy text
\begin{document}
\begin{letter}{}
\opening{Hello,}
\blindtext
\closing{Bye}
\end{letter}
\end{document}

enter image description here

To remove the vertical space reserved for the addresse field add:

\addtoplength[-]{refvpos}{\useplength{toaddrheight}}

If you set the variable fromname and do not want that \closing adds the value of fromname then clear the variable signature:

\setkomavar{fromname}{Max Mustermann}
\setkomavar{signature}{}

Example:

\documentclass{scrlttr2}
\KOMAoptions{foldmarks=false,addrfield=false,firsthead=false}
\addtoplength[-]{refvpos}{\useplength{toaddrheight}}
\setkomavar{fromname}{Max Mustermann}
\setkomavar{signature}{}
\usepackage{blindtext}% only for dummy text
\begin{document}
\begin{letter}{}
\opening{Hello,}
\blindtext
\closing{Bye}
\end{letter}
\end{document}

enter image description here

Note, that most of the predefined lco files expecte paper size a4, eg. the preloaded DIN.lco. If you use another paper sizes, you will get a warning. If you do not need a special position of a letter element (like the position of the address field for windowed envelopes) you can ignore this warning. For paper=letter you can also load letter option UScommercial9 or UScommercial9DW. If you use another paper size, eg. paper=a5, and need special positions of a letter elements, then you have to define an own lco file.

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  • I suppose a further point is that the UScommercial9 LCO may be desired, in preference to the default DIN, if the paper size is US Letter.
    – epl
    Jan 4 '21 at 9:53
  • If you do not need a special position of letter elements (like the address field for windowed envelopes) then you can ignore the warning regarding the paper size.
    – esdd
    Jan 4 '21 at 10:17
  • The design of the default LCO assumes A4, so I would think it wiser to use one designed for Letter in case of that paper size.
    – epl
    Jan 4 '21 at 11:04
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    I thought you did not want the address field, header, footer etc.? The main differences between the lcos are the positions of the addresse field and the fold marks. Additionally I have added a short remark regarding the paper size.
    – esdd
    Jan 4 '21 at 11:25

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