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An archive of TeX software
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A host of the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network
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.

LaTeX Margins

Margins in LaTeX are diificult to change and manipulate because all of the margins are interrelated. Please read the CTAN Faq on chnaging margins before attempting to use the commands below.

The most reliable and easiest way to change margins on our system is to use the geometry package and the commands it controls. Please see the document wide spacing page or below for those relatively simple commands.

Making a Style File

Another option, which is initially more difficult but will save time later, is to make a margins style file. Then, you could call that style file in any document you create with the command: \usepackage{margins}. This way, you would need to set your margins only once and you could call it for multiple documents and it would apply to the entire document.

Document Wide Spacing

Changing the spacing on a document-wide basis is done for different document settings using different packages. The sectsty package controls the spacing of section headings; the mdwlist package controls the spacing for lists; the geometry package controls the overall margins and text area of the document. All of these packages must be called in the preamble of the document and specified when called. For instance, the geometry package is called with the use package command, followed by the options, and then the package name, like this:
\usepackage[left=2cm,top=1cm,right=3cm,nohead,nofoot]{geometry}

Another method to change the margins in the document is to use the package anysize and its command

\marginsize{left}{right}{top}{bottom}:
\documentclass[a4paper]{article}
\usepackage{anysize}
\marginsize{3cm}{2cm}{1cm}{1cm}
\begin{document}
Jawohl! Sommerlov!
\end{document}

Margins on the PageCommands to Change the Margins
margins for latex
Image from Peter Newbury's page on LaTeX Margins: http://www.iam.ubc.ca/~newbury/tex/page-set-up.html
%%%%%%%%%%%%%
\oddsidemargin 0.0in
\evensidemargin 1.0in
\textwidth 6.0in
\headheight 1.0in
\topmargin 0.5in
\textheight 9.0in
\footheight 1.0in
%%%%%%%%%%%%
(Please note that all of these are contingent on each other and that changing the margins this way is difficult.)

Margin Commands

All side margins on single-sided pages are controlled with the \oddsidemargin command. The distance from the left side of the page to the left side of the text is one inch + \oddsidemargin. To set margins of less than 1in, set the \oddsidemargin command with a negative length like -0.5in. The right margin is changed by combining the \oddsidemargin (default of 1) with the \textwidth. Thus, if you wanted to have 1inch margins on the left and the right sides of the page (on 8.5X11inch paper), you would use the commands:

\oddsidemargin 0.0in 
%%this makes the odd side margin go to the default of 1inch
\textwidth 6.5 
%%sets the textwidth to 6.5, which leaves 1 for the remaining right margin with 8 1/2X11inch paper 

If you are writing a document with even and odd sided pages, then use the \evensidemargin command in addition to the \oddsidemargin command. Both commands are used within the same framework.

The vertical style parameters are complicated and setting \topmargin=0in will not negate the top space of the page, even with no headers.

 
C. Sean Bohun