I am wondering, for a document from class article with the following setup:


What values should one input into fields top, right, bottom and left (in inches or points) from package geometry to recover the default margin behaviour from the document?

\usepackage[top=¿?, bottom=¿?, left=¿?, right=¿?]{geometry}

I have found the following thread but it does not seem to answer my question: Default margins for geometry package.

Auxiliary, how is can this default behaviour be checked? In particular, if I change the document type or the font size, the default behaviour might no longer be the same.

  • 2
    Did you try the approach from Werner's answer (in the question you linked)? I think it'd help? \usepackage{layouts} ... \begin{document} \pagevalues prints text and paper width/height, margins, header/footer..., values which you can then input in geometry. Combine with \usepackage{showframe} for additional (visual) validation of the settings. Repeat after changing document type or font size.
    – marquinho
    Commented Feb 26, 2022 at 18:02
  • @marquinho how can I establish a correspondence between the outputs of \pagevalues and the values for the parameters of geometry? Plus, I am not sure how to interpret the output, for example \topmargin has value -37.0pt, does that refer w.r.t. to the default value? Commented Feb 26, 2022 at 18:41

2 Answers 2


The geometry package has a pass option which will prevent it from changing the paper size or margins set by the document class.


  • Thank you, but I am specifically interested in knowing the values for the default behaviour to benchmark my current margins against the default ones. Commented Feb 26, 2022 at 17:25
  • Not sure this is exact, but \usepackage[right=119pt,left=118pt,top=127pt,bottom=122pt]{geometry} seems pretty darn close for 11pt oneside article class on a4paper.
    – frabjous
    Commented Feb 26, 2022 at 17:48
  • Thank you, this works! But what are the default {geometry} settings which kick in when you leave the argument empty and you also don't have a paper size specified? E.g. \documentclass[10pt]{article} \usepackage[]{geometry} Are they set in pt, in, or some ratio, relative to something? What to put instead of [pass] to get the same exact result? Need that to leave it as is for now but be able to change in the future. Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 13:09
  • 1
    Oh, I got it. This is what is [pass]ed: tex.stackexchange.com/a/573030/41937 Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 13:17

Use the layouts package. For example

\caption{Odd page layout for this document}

will produce a diagram of the page layout and list the values of all the layout parameters.

The package provides many other facilities, such as drawing a proposed page layout.

  • \oddpagelayout is not recognized. Commented Feb 26, 2022 at 18:37
  • 2
    I tale liberty and correct command name for \oddpagelayout to \oddpagelayouttrue
    – Zarko
    Commented Feb 26, 2022 at 19:19

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