1

I'm writing an important proposal, and here is the required formatting:

Page limit: 20 pages

The minimum font size allowed is 11 points

The reference font for the body text of proposals is Times New Roman (Windows platforms), Times/Times New Roman (Apple platforms) or Nimbus Roman No. 9 L (Linux distributions).

The page size is A4, and all margins (top, bottom, left, right) should be at least 15 mm (not including any footers or headers).

I have already written a draft, which has far more than 20 pages. So besides cutting content, I would like to hold as much text as possible while satisfying the required formatting conditions.

First, the requirement is not very very clear to me, could anyone tell me if the 15 mm margin can contain headers/footers or not?

Second, at the moment, I have the following MWE, which does not respect the required margin condition. Could anyone help me build an MWE that respects the exact required margins while trying to hold as much text as possible?

\documentclass[11pt,a4]{article}

\RequirePackage[latin1]{inputenc}
\RequirePackage[T1]{fontenc}
\RequirePackage{fancyhdr}
\RequirePackage{microtype}
\usepackage{mathptmx}
\usepackage{lipsum}

\setlength{\textwidth}{170mm}
\setlength{\textheight}{245mm}
\setlength{\evensidemargin}{-2mm}
\setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-2mm}
\setlength{\hoffset}{0mm}
\setlength{\voffset}{-10mm}
\setlength{\headheight}{3mm}
\setlength{\headsep}{4mm}
\setlength{\topmargin}{-5mm}

\lhead{\lhead{Author}}
\rhead{\thepage}
\chead{Title}
% Foot
\rfoot{}
\lfoot{}
\cfoot{}

\begin{document}
\pagestyle{fancy}
1 \lipsum*[1]~\footnote{abc}

2 \lipsum*[1]

3 \lipsum*[1]

4 \lipsum*[1]

5 \lipsum*[1]~\footnote{abc}

6 \lipsum*[1]

7 \lipsum*[1]

8 \lipsum*[1]

\pagestyle{fancy}
9 \lipsum*[1]

10 \lipsum*[1]~\footnote{abc}

11 \lipsum*[1]

12 \lipsum*[1]

13 \lipsum*[1]~\footnote{abc}

14 \lipsum*[1]

15 \lipsum*[1]

16 \lipsum*[1]

17 \lipsum*[1]

18 \lipsum*[1]

19 \lipsum*[1]

20 \lipsum*[1]

\end{document}
4
  • 4
    (1) Use the package geometry to set the margins instead of \setlength{<everything>}. There are tons of examples in this site and do not forget take a look to the manual. (2) To me the requirement is clear: You can include header or footer, but it can not be count as part of the already ridiculous 15 mm margin (3) Hold as many texts as possible is probably the worst strategy from all the points of view. Left decent margins (> 2 cm) and rewrite the contents to make a more clear and brief document.
    – Fran
    Jul 30, 2022 at 16:23
  • 1
    Off topic, but are you sure you want to use ISO-8859-1 aka Latin-1 encoding? That said, I agree with Fran: try not to cram as much text as possible into your proposal. Theoretically you could reduce font size, leading, etc. but at some point those are considered crimes against typography. Then again, 10pt instead of the 11pt you currently use might be fine …
    – Ingmar
    Jul 30, 2022 at 16:31
  • 1
    You can of course have the pages with minimal margins, minimal fontsize, and maximum text but would anyone want to read that? The document needs to be pleasant to look at to encourage someone to read it. My "A Few Notes on Book Design" (texdoc memdesign) shows a variety of page layouts. Choose something that suits your text and audience. Jul 30, 2022 at 17:22
  • If you use geometry, don' forget [noheadfoot] and \pagestyle{empty} Jul 30, 2022 at 23:43

4 Answers 4

5
+150

Your error is a4, besides not using geometry. If you want A4 paper, the option is a4paper. The parameters are adapted to letter paper, which is wider and shorter than A4.

\documentclass[11pt]{article}

\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage{fancyhdr}
\usepackage{microtype}
\usepackage{mathptmx}
\usepackage[
  a4paper,
  margin=15mm,
  heightrounded,
  headheight=13.6pt,
  headsep=11pt,
]{geometry}

\usepackage{lipsum}
\usepackage{layout}

\pagestyle{fancy}
\fancyhf{}
\fancyhead[L]{Author}
\fancyhead[R]{\thepage}
\fancyhead[C]{Title}

\begin{document}

\layout

1 \lipsum*[1]%~\footnote{abc}

2 \lipsum*[1]

3 \lipsum*[1]

4 \lipsum*[1]

5 \lipsum*[1]%~\footnote{abc}

6 \lipsum*[1]

7 \lipsum*[1]

8 \lipsum*[1]

\pagestyle{fancy}
9 \lipsum*[1]

10 \lipsum*[1]~\footnote{abc}

11 \lipsum*[1]

12 \lipsum*[1]

13 \lipsum*[1]~\footnote{abc}

14 \lipsum*[1]

15 \lipsum*[1]

16 \lipsum*[1]

17 \lipsum*[1]

18 \lipsum*[1]

19 \lipsum*[1]

20 \lipsum*[1]

\end{document}

I used layout to get a picture showing the lengths.

For instance, we see

one inch + \hoffset
\oddsidemargin = -29pt

Actually, \oddsidemargin is -29.59087pt and 72.27-29.59087 points is exactly 15mm. The text width is 512pt (actually 512.14963pt) which is 180mm and the right margin is 210-180-15=15 millimeters.

Similarly, ② is one inch; the \topmargin is -54.19087pt; considering \headheight and \headsep, you get the top margin exactly at 15mm from the top of the page. The text height is computed as 759.00034pt, which is 266.76mm, so the bottom margin is

297 - 266.76 - 15 = 15.24

millimeters. It's better to use heightrounded, so an integral number of lines fits the page. As you see, you're still respecting the requirements. Not really so important, however, because article with the default oneside option uses \raggedbottom; it would be necessary if twoside is issued.

Fix the headsep to suit your taste, but leave headheight=13.6pt or fancyhdr might change the page parameters.

13
  • Thank you for your precise answer. To calculate the top margin, you used ② - ④ + ⑤ + ⑥, which is approximately 72pt-54pt+13pt+11pt=42pt, which is about 15mm. So your top margin did cover the header area. Are you sure this respects the requirement, a.k.a, "all margins (top, bottom, left, right) should be at least 15 mm (not including any footers or headers)"?
    – SoftTimur
    Aug 7, 2022 at 14:38
  • @SoftTimur It depends on how you interpret “not including”.
    – egreg
    Aug 7, 2022 at 14:42
  • I will double check with the organisation. You confirm that your top margin did cover the header area, right?
    – SoftTimur
    Aug 7, 2022 at 14:43
  • @SoftTimur That's how I read it: the top of the text block should be at least 15mm from the top of the page, headers aren't considered. Apparently they want to set some limitations on the text, confirmed by setting a maximum number of pages. Headers and footers don't count in the number of words.
    – egreg
    Aug 7, 2022 at 14:44
  • I just sent a mail to the organisation, i will come back to you, thank you.
    – SoftTimur
    Aug 7, 2022 at 15:03
4

I'd use the geometry package, for a detailed explanation on its features, check the documentation (it's 42 pages, but only the first 17 have information on the package, the rest is the implementation.) For example you could say \usepackage[left=15mm,right=15mm,top=15mm,bottom=15mm]{geometry}. If you want to make sure the header and footer length aren't included, you could also put includehead and includefoot, which will put the headers and footers inside the text body, separate from the margins. I'd also recommend editing your paper well to make it concise so that it can fit in the 20 pages, as Fran said in the comments. Based on the required font size an margins, I'm not sure of anyway to fit more text in the pages (although someone else may know a way.)

6
  • I tried \usepackage[left=15mm,right=15mm,top=15mm,bottom=15mm,includehead,includefoot,showframe]{geometry}, the returned layout returned a big margin below the header and above the main text.
    – SoftTimur
    Jul 31, 2022 at 8:32
  • 1
    Good point, try also putting headsep=0pt. That should fix it, did it work for you? Jul 31, 2022 at 20:44
  • I'm not sure what you gave is the exact solution. I tried \usepackage[lmargin=15mm,rmargin=15mm,tmargin=\dimexpr15mm+1.5\baselineskip,bmargin=\dimexpr15mm+1.5\baselineskip,headheight=\baselineskip,headsep=.5\baselineskip,footskip=1.5\baselineskip]{geometry}, which returned a different result than \usepackage[left=15mm,right=15mm,top=15mm,bottom=15mm,includehead,includefoot,headsep=.5\baselineskip]{geometry}. Do you know which one answers exactly my question?
    – SoftTimur
    Aug 2, 2022 at 15:51
  • I actually changed my mind, I think the headers and footers can be included in the margins, including those or removing those won't change the width/height of the total margin. headsep only controls the distance from the header to the top barrier of the text body, but doesn't change the height of the top margin. Same with marginparsep,which controls the distance between the "margin notes" and the right barrier of the text body (this is according to the geometry documentation). So the full code is \usepackage[left=15mm,right=15mm,top=15mm,bottom=15mm]{geometry}. I think that's all you need. Aug 2, 2022 at 20:32
  • You could also shorten that to \usepackage[vmargin=15mm,hmargin=15mm]{geometry} which achieves the same thing. Aug 2, 2022 at 20:35
3

I'd definitely use geometry to set correct margins. If you want to include headers, use inlcudehead. Otherwise, use nohead to save space. It is similar with inlcudefoot and nofoot (see pages 5-10 in documentation).

Another option is to use titleformat/titlespacing from titlesec and remove/reduce the top space occupied by chapter titles.

In order to keep the same or empty page style on pages with chapter titles (standard is plain), \chapter needs to be patched

\usepackage{etoolbox}
    \patchcmd{\chapter}{plain}{empty}{}{}

or change empty to anything else, perhaps fancy.

Hope it helps

enter image description here

\documentclass[12pt]{report}
\usepackage[
    margin=15mm,
    headheight=14.5pt,
    headsep=\normalbaselineskip,
    includehead, nofoot, nomarginpar, % nohead,
]{geometry}
\usepackage{microtype}
\usepackage{mathptmx}
\usepackage{fancyhdr}
    \fancyhf{}
    \fancyhead[L]{\me}
    \fancyhead[R]{\thepage}
    \fancyhead[C]{\mytitle}
    \renewcommand{\headrulewidth}{0pt}%
\usepackage{etoolbox}
    \patchcmd{\chapter}{plain}{empty}{}{}
\usepackage{titlesec}
    \titleformat{\chapter}[display]{\normalfont\Huge}{Chapter \thechapter}{3pt}{\Huge}
    \titlespacing{\chapter}{0pt}{*-4}{*6}
\usepackage{blindtext}
\usepackage{showframe}   % Add doc. frames for a reference
    \renewcommand{\ShowFrameLinethickness}{0.2pt}
    \renewcommand{\ShowFrameColor}{\color{blue}}

\newcommand\mytitle{My Proposal}
\newcommand{\me}{F. Surname}
\title{\mytitle}
\author{\me}
\date{}

\pagestyle{fancy}


\begin{document}
% \maketitle
\chapter{First}
\blindtext[1]\footnote{abc}

\blindmathtrue\Blinddocument\footnote{def}

\end{document}
3

If you are using OpTeX then you can declare:

\fontfam[Times]
\typosize[11/13]
\margins/1 a4 (15,15,15,15)mm

\lorem[1-150] \lorem[1-50] % 20 pages
\bye

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