I am working on a book right now and the margin notes are not appearing on the left-side pages. I tried using mparhack but it made no difference. Is my geometry, fancy style or another package messing up the normal layout? I am using pdflatex to render. Here is a minimal test case:

            \protect\renewcommand{\protect\cftchapleader}{%-- switch it on here
\title{Heroic Real Estate Otter of the 21st Century}
\chapter*{Thread 0}
\addcontentsline{toc}{chapter}{Thread 0}


  • The marginpar is outside the page. Try adding \hfill in front of $\psi$ and you'll see it.
    – egreg
    Feb 8, 2013 at 17:07
  • nice! So is that the proper work-around or is there a better way to set left-side marginpars to flush right? Feb 8, 2013 at 17:23

3 Answers 3


You have adjusted your page margins, but haven't adjusted the marginpar dimensions to match. I suggest adding parameters to your call of the geometry package:

  marginparwidth=7mm,     % + <- Width of your marginpar
  marginparsep=1mm,       % + <- Gap between text block and marginpar

This will also allow you, if you need, to see the content without re-specifying alignments.


Use this:


and use \mymarginpar{$\psi$}

The problem is that the psi is off the page in your case.

  • I had to use this answer as well to get it to align the way I wanted. Feb 10, 2013 at 19:33
  • This duplicates the text of the marginpar. Is there a way to do it without duplicating the text? In other words: How do I completely change what command is run based upon whether I'm on a left- or right-hand page?
    – Geremia
    Apr 15, 2014 at 16:52
  • This worked better in my case: \newcommand{\mymarginpar}[1]{\ifodd\thepage\marginpar{#1}\else\marginpar{\hfill #1}\fi}
    – Geremia
    Apr 15, 2014 at 17:09
  • Actually, this is even better because it detects the odd/even page number correctly: \newcommand{\mymarginpar}[1]{\label{marginpar:#1}\ifodd\getpagerefnumber{marginpar:#1}\marginpar{#1}\else\marginpar{\hfill #1}\fi}
    – Geremia
    Apr 15, 2014 at 18:35
  • @Geremia \marginpar[<text left>]{<text right>} does not duplicate the text. It already decides depending on odd or even page to show <text left> or <text right>. Thus, no manual case differentiation is necessary.
    – dexteritas
    Aug 26, 2022 at 9:56

I had the same problem. In my case, I think that the origin of the problem is that I modified manually the size of the layout of the page in order to have a wide space (4 cm) for my marginars:

\voffset = -1cm
\textheight = 24.5cm
\footskip = 0.8cm
\marginparwidth = 4cm   
\textwidth = 16cm
\oddsidemargin = -1.5cm
\evensidemargin = -1.5cm

Curiously, by using these settins I got no problem with one document, but experienced the problem with another one.

A workaround which worked for me is to explicitely declare the document with the option oneside, for instance:

\documentclass[12pt, oneside, a4paper, final]{book}

However, I think the best solution is definitely to set the layout of the page by using the geometry package.

  • Well, while this might be a solution I don't recommend changing the layout parameters directly. Use the geometry package instead
    – user31729
    Jun 24, 2016 at 16:21

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