Using Letter paper in LaTeX

It is common for TeX/LaTeX software to assume A4 paper size -- when you install TeX you must be careful to choose "letter paper" explicitly or else A4 is assumed during compilation and during conversion to PostScript/PDF.

Per-machine configuration directory

MikTex 2.5+

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\MiKTeX\2.5





Configure files:


%% Dvipdfmx configuration file. See the Dvipdfmx manual for help.

p letter



%% Dvipdfm configuration file. See the Dvipdfm manual for help.

p letter


dvips\config\  (lettersize comes before a4)

%% Dvips configuration file. See the Dvips manual for help.



@ letterSize 8.5in 11in

@+ ! %%DocumentPaperSizes: Letter


@ A4size 594.99bp 841.99bp

@+ ! %%DocumentPaperSizes: a4

@+ %%PaperSize: A4





%% pdfTeX configuration file. Run 'mthelp pdftexcfg' for parameter help.

page_width 8.5 true in

page_height 11 true in



You may use initexmf in Windows or texconfig in Unix to configure paper size for your systems.
If you are the administrator of a linux machine, you could use texconfig-sys to configure paper size for all users.


C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.5\miktex\bin>initexmf --help

Usage: initexmf [OPTION...]

  --dump[=FORMAT]              Create format files.

  --edit-config-file=FILE      Open the specified config file in an editor.

                               FILE must be one of: dvipdfm, dvipdfmx, dvips,

                               pdftex, updmap.

  --list-formats               List formats.

  --list-modes                 List METAFONT modes

  --mklinks                    Create executables.

  --mkmaps                     Create font map files.

  -n, --print-only             Print what would be done.

  -q, --quiet                  Suppress screen output.

  --report                     Create a configuration report.

  -u, --update-fndb[=ROOT]     Update the file name database.

  -v, --verbose                Print information on what is being done.

  -V, --version                Print version information and exit.


Help options:

  -?, --help                   Show this help message

  --usage                      Display brief usage message




> texconfig --help

Usage: texconfig conf

       texconfig confall

       texconfig rehash

       texconfig formats

       texconfig localsetup

       texconfig hyphen FORMAT

       texconfig mode    [options]

       texconfig xdvi    [options] ...

       texconfig dvips   [options] ...

       texconfig dvipdfm [options] ...

       texconfig pdftex  [options] ...

       texconfig font    [options] ...

       texconfig faq

       texconfig init    [format]


Get help with:

       texconfig help

       texconfig hyphen

       texconfig mode

       texconfig xdvi

       texconfig dvips

       texconfig dvipdfm

       texconfig pdftex

       texconfig font



If you are using TeXnicCenter with the LaTex -> PS -> PDF output profile, check the following arguments

arguments for dvips

-P pdf "%Bm.dvi"


argument for Ghostscript (gswin32c.exe)

-sPAPERSIZE=letter -dSAFER -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile="%bm.pdf" -c save pop -f ""



To explicitly choose your papersize either use





]© oK ^