Latex Page Format

 The geometry Package for LaTeX

Setting the {\small \LaTeX} page format or dimensions is not straightforward. You need to adjust several native dimensions to control the text area, and the four margins.  Fortunately, the geometry package greatly simplifies page formatting.

For example, it is easy to create a landscape document on a4papper with text dimensioned to be 8-inches width and 6-inches height:

The parameters passed to the command determine the layout. In this case a4paper establishes the paper size and the totalparameter sets the size of the text area (width and height). Default settings in the preamble can also be defined in an alternative way:

Changing the LaTeX Page Format Mid-Document

The command \newgeometry{option1, option2, …} changes the page layout mid-document. \newgeometry is almost similar to \geometry except that \newgeometry disables all the options specified in the preamble (other than papersize-related options). \restoregeometry restores the page layout specified in the preamble. This command has no arguments.

LaTeX Page Geometry

Page layout dimensions defined in the geometry package are illustrated below.


The page has a total body (printable area) and margins, which can be split into a body (text area) with an optional header, footer and marginal notes (marginpar). There are four margins: left, right, top and bottom. For twosided documents, horizontal margins should be called inner (left) and outer (right).  

Fine-Tuning LaTeX Page Layout

Common options for fine-tuning the page layout defaults are listed below:

[table id=47 /]

Options can also be declared using regular expressions, such as a[0-6]paper.  Meanwhile, options for paper names (a4paper) and orientation (landscape) can be set as document class options. For example, \documentclass[a4paper,landscape]{article}. This is also the case for twoside and twocolumn.

Additional options can be found in the geometry package documentation here.

LaTeX Page Numbering

\pagenumbering{num_style} specifies the style of page numbers. Possible values of num_style are:

  • arabic: Arabic numerals
  • roman: Lowercase roman numerals
  • Roman: Uppercase roman numerals
  • alpha: Lowercase letters
  • Alpha: Uppercase letters

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