[Tex/LaTex] How to compromise between A4 and letter


My document is hundreds of pages long with many figures and illustrations. The document is subject to periodic revision. To maintain an A4 version and a letter version would be too much work.

However, my audience includes a mix of A4 and letter users, both of whom wish to print the document on actual paper. How should I compromise between them?

One would think that this would be an old problem, long ago solved; yet a web search seems to discover nothing resembling an a4-letter-compromise package. Advice?


The document's source is written in LaTeX (rather than plain TeX).

For reference, here is my class declaration:


The {foo-report} is my minor local modification of standard {report}, identical except in the table of contents. For purpose of this question, you can probably pretend that it says {report} (unless the bare fact that the class is modified at all is somehow relevant, which I doubt).


My thanks to answerers and commenters. Based largely on the various advice given, my modified class declaration is as follows.

% Compromise between a4 (297.0mm by 210.0mm)
% and letter (11.0in by 8.5in, which is exactly 279.4mm by 215.9mm).

This seems to solve the problem. You probably don't have a local class {foo-report}; so, if adopting this solution yourself, you can instead type {report}.

Why 8.8 mm, incidentally? Because, being exactly half the difference between A4 and letter heights, that is the offset needed to recenter the text vertically.

Best Answer

A couple of scientific journals by Wiley (those at least I wrote or maintained the LaTeX classes for) use a hybrid format of 210 mm by 279.4 mm: as wide as A4, as high as letter. Thus it can be printed or copied in both worlds without loss.

You can do this by putting

\setlength\paperheight {279.4mm}%
\setlength\paperwidth  {210mm}%

into your class code. If you are using the geometry package you could use