[texhax] Regarding margin for binding in thesis

Arvind bahuroopi at gmail.com
Wed Apr 21 23:17:49 CEST 2010

Dear Alan,

On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 1:53 AM, Alan T Litchfield <alan at alphabyte.co.nz> wrote:
> Arvind,
> 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.

Many thanks for the elaboration. I finally used old-fashioned
\oddsidemargin, \evensidemargin and \textwidth to adjust the margins.
I will discuss with the binding guy, and change the margins if

As for your other observations, there seems to be no rule at my
institute, either about the margins, or about one-sided or two-sided
printing. Very few people use latex, and i have seen a really ugly
thesis in my own lab, with hardly any margin, and two-sided. In my
case, the number of pages is 271, and one-sided would make it a really
huge book in print. So i am going for two-sided printing. I will be
leaving sufficient margin for notes/comments etc by the reviewers.


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