I'm writing my Master's Thesis with LaTeX and I'd like to know what are the best margins I should use.

My university doesn't force any template. LaTeX default margins seems to me too large. Do you have any recommendation?

In addition, I would like to know if I should keep two different margins for even and odd pages. I'm using the book class.


  • The manual for the "memoir" document class has a long introduction to typography and design, while still being relatively accessible. texdoc.net/texmf-dist/doc/latex/memoir/memman.pdf Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 14:11
  • The best one is the one in the latex class template provided by your university.
    – eykanal
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 14:51

2 Answers 2


Your question may not be completely appropriate for academia.sx but probably not for TeX.sx either.

Anyway. rather than focussing on the width of margins you can consider the width of the text area. Research (I do not have references at hand at the moment) has shown that around 65 (within the range 45-75) characters per line is optimal. This means that if you switch type face or size, the number of characters will change. Hence the same text area may not be optimal for 10, 11 and 12 pt or conversely your text optimal area will change with type face and size. To some extent, this is built into LaTeX which is at least partly why the margins may seem less than optimal.

So to approach the question of margins, try to select the type face and the type size you want to use and then check the resulting text area size for line lengths between 45 and 75 focussing around 65 characters.

The question of right and left page margins is a matter of simplicity. If you centre the text area on the page the areas will appear the same on all pages. When viewed as a pdf the text will not move around from page to page which can be slightly annoying, particularly if inside and outside margins have widely different widths. So will your text be read frequently in digital format use simple margins, if the print is important differing in- and outside margins may be preferable. Just make sure any printer does not screw up the margins by removing or missing printing blank pages that will result in a shift of left and right hand pages.


You can find a good and easy-to-read resource on changing margins with the typearea package here: http://www.khirevich.com/latex/page_layout/ A more detailed discussion of margins, text density and binding corrections is found in the manual for the KOMA-script bundle (which, incidentally, is a good alternative to book if you want a class that guides you more directly in the formatting of a long document).

Asymmetric margins can be obtained with the twoside option to book.

  • 1
    I am sorry, but i cannot recommend a page that talks about page margins and screws up left and right hand pages in all screenshots. +1 for the KOMA mention, though.
    – Johannes_B
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 17:39

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