This is what I'm using:


For some reasons, when I print out my document, there seems to be a slight 1-2mm discrepancy between odd and even pages, when I look through a single sheet (with a light in the background).

What I see is that the page on the other side is shifted by 1-2mm to the right, compared to the page I'm looking at.

What could possibly explain this?

  • 3
    A defect in the printer driver? I think it may happen if you print from Adobe Reader and leave "Fit to printable area" or "Shrink to printable area".
    – egreg
    Oct 29 '12 at 14:09
  • @egreg Yeah, I think you're right... Oct 29 '12 at 14:16

The printer driver of Adobe Reader has a rather "nice" feature. If I look at the page properties of a PDF document produced with pdflatex, the program says

20.998 x 29.697 cm

while with pdfinfo I get

595.276 x 841.89 pts (A4)

However, according to bc,

595.276*2.54/72 = 21.00001444444444444444
841.89*2.54/72  = 29.70000833333333333333

so it's not clear why the dimensions are different from 21 x 29.7 cm. If I change the units to points (Postscript big points), Adobe Reader says 595.3 x 841.9, so I'm really confused about the computations it does, which imply a shorter inch than the official one (2.5397cm, instead of 2.54cm).

Since the output format is set to A4, which at Adobe Reader's eyes is different from the stated document size, the program offers by default to "Fit to printable area" with a zoom to 93%, which is quite a bizarre figure, since the document is smaller than the paper, at Reader's eyes, not larger.

So, always watch out for the printing options and remember to choose "None" from the "Page Scaling" pop up menu.

Preview for Mac OS X has exactly the same problem; here is a snapshot of what I get when asking to print something:

enter image description here

Where it's seen that the document will be slightly scaled down. If I choose the "Scale" option with 100% in the box, the result is correctly printed.

Note that Skim doesn't have this problem.

  • I actually printed this with Preview on the Mac. But it's possible that it makes similar discrepancies as Adobe Reader. Do you have access to a Mac? Oct 29 '12 at 15:10
  • @MayGodBlessKnuth I don't think so; it may depend on the printer. Right now I can't access a printer, unfortunately.
    – egreg
    Oct 29 '12 at 15:12
  • 1
    @MayGodBlessKnuth I've tried with Preview and it has similar behavior as Adobe Reader. :( But a fix is easy.
    – egreg
    Oct 30 '12 at 12:18

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