[texhax] Regarding margin for binding in thesis

Alan T Litchfield alan at alphabyte.co.nz
Wed Apr 21 22:23:40 CEST 2010


There is no real convention with regards to inner and outer width  
dimensions. In some cases they are of equal width and in others they  
vary quite remarkably (both positive and negative variances). In some  
places in the world it seems there is an accepted wisdom that there  
should be a positive difference (US?) and in others it seems that  
there should be none or negative (Northern Europe?).

Ultimately it depends on what kind of binding method you are going to  
use. For example if the book is thin and saddle stitched then you can  
get away with having no difference between inner and outer margins,  
whereas if it is thick and perfect bound (say a thick paper back) then  
a wider inner margin is desired because the volume will not lay flat  
and will be difficult for the reader push it open sufficiently to  
read. If the binding is sewn and hard cover bound then a wider inner  
margin is desirable but it may not be as wide as that needed for a  
paper back novel. Then, if you are going to spiral bind your thesis  
for marking then make certain the inner margin is going to be wide  
enough to accommodate the holes that will be punched through the paper.

After several decades I have not encountered a publisher who has  
required that the outer margins should be wider than the inner, but  
that may be a geo-sociological issue. I am not based in western/ 
northern Europe and conventions there may be different. I agree that  
this is counter intuitive.

I am surprised that the thesis is to be printed on two sides however.  
 From what I have seen, most are printed on one side only which makes  
the discussion moot since the page margins will all be the same. Then  
the most important consideration becomes how much margin space to  
allow for markers' comments.

In your case, I don't know what stage you are at. That is why I made  
the additional observations.


On 22/04/2010, at 5:12 AM, Arvind wrote:

> Oops - i used 'reply', rather than 'reply all'. Resending the mail to
> the group now.
> On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 7:28 AM, Torsten Wagner
> <torsten.wagner at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 04/21/2010 10:09 AM, Arvind wrote:
>>>> I don't have the commands in my mind at the moment. But I know it  
>>>> is a
>>>> common error to believe that the margins which will create the  
>>>> middle of
>>>> the
>>>> book have to be wider then the outer margins. Please check for  
>>>> this. A
>>>> correct set-up should give you exact three margins.
>>>> |------| Text |---*---| Text |------|
>>>> * indicate the book-middle. As you can see the left and right size
>>>> margins
>>>> have the same width like both inner margins together. This  
>>>> results in a
>>>> uniform look margin,text,margin,text,margin....
>>> However, my impression was that with the twoside option, the  
>>> geometry
>>> package would give different left and right margins for odd and even
>>> numbered pages. You are saying it should give the same margin for  
>>> both
>>> pages. But it seems to be doing neither. What i am getting is a  
>>> larger
>>> margin on the right, and slightly smaller margin on the left, for  
>>> all
>>> the pages. Why is that?
>> This is exactly what I am saying. Please put two sheets between  
>> each other
>> in the way they would appear in the book.
>> Like page 2-3. As you can seen now. the outer left and right margin  
>> have the
>> same space like the inner left and right margin together. This is
>> intentional. Check a good typeset commercial book and you will find  
>> it is
>> true. It only look strange as long as you pile up all sheets  
>> together (like
>> your pdf-viewer will display them one under the other). As soon as  
>> you
>> arrange them to a "2 page view" they look fine.
> I do not follow your argument. For a moment, ignore what happens in
> the middle, in the "2 page view". The way you showed the schematic in
> your first mail, the left margin of page 2 and right margin of page 3
> are of unequal length. Shouldn't they be of the same width by your own
> argument, and the schematic you plotted? (For that matter, the middle
> length is also not satisfactory - and yes, i did check by taking
> printouts of two pages, and placing them in a "2 page view".)
> arvind
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Alan T Litchfield
PO Box 141, Auckland, 1140
New Zealand

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