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I would appreciate input and thoughts on what a good page layout for a mathematical article looks like in latex. What would you consider good practice? What is your own personal preference? Which page layouts annoy you as a reader? 11pt or 12pt? Standard latex fonts, or do you prefer another (commonly available) choice? What's a good compromise between traditional typographic rules (no more than 60 characters per line) and not wasting too much empty space on a page?

To make it really concrete, let's say I am specifically asking for guidance for articles to be posted on the arXiv, i.e. the article will be printed both on letter and A4 paper. And unlike journals, you don't have the luxury of choosing your page size appropriately.

(P.S.: What are good examples of layout for math content on A4-sized pages done by professionals?)

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closed as off topic by Daniel Moskovich, Franz Lemmermeyer, Willie Wong, Francesco Polizzi, Loop Space Jan 19 '11 at 17:54

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hi, do you think tex.stackexchange.com could help? –  Suvrit Jan 19 '11 at 16:11
This does not strike me as appropriate for MO. At the very least, it should be CW. –  Thierry Zell Jan 19 '11 at 16:21
I would prefer to ask the question here, as good layout is very context-sensitive, and I am (as, I would have thought, other MO readers) specifically interested in recommendations for mathematical research articles. –  Arend Bayer Jan 19 '11 at 16:44
@AByer: there are plenty of mathematicians on tex.stackexchange.com who would be happy to give you advice. And I don't see a reason why a mathematician's answer would be more pertinent than a physicist or engineer's answer: all of us are interested in ensuring that our documents are clear and readable. –  Loop Space Jan 19 '11 at 18:00
I'm not convinced that tex.stackexchange.com is more appropriate, since this is a stylistic question and not about TeX or LaTeX per se. Also, a mathematician's answer is more pertinent, because there are definitely different conventions for the different fields. –  Deane Yang Jan 19 '11 at 18:21

2 Answers 2

From arXiv, it is possible to download the source of any paper. You could check the page layout from a paper you like.

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This is undoubtedly not the answer you want, but I just use the amsart style with 12 point type. I see no reason to trust my own typographical taste above that of the people who created the style file. Journals will apply their own styles anyway, and any fancy stuff I did in my preprints would just interfere with this re-styling.

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The default margins are too wide for my taste, so I always add "\usepackage{fullpage}". –  Deane Yang Jan 19 '11 at 16:29
I agree: \documentclass{amsart} \usepackage{fullpage} –  Neil Strickland Jan 19 '11 at 17:09
Thanks Deane, that's one example of the kind of advice I was looking for! –  Arend Bayer Jan 19 '11 at 17:09
Yuk! No! Do not use "fullpage". It makes it almost unreadable (now I understand why I never understood any of Neil's lecture notes). If you want to save paper, print it 2-up and remove the margins at that stage (use pstops if on unix). If you really must change the margins, use the geometry package. If you want to know any more, visit tex.stackexchange.com –  Loop Space Jan 19 '11 at 17:59
Fullpage is not readable I just use it for longer calculations but not for communication. Standard Latex Geometry is optimized on readability. For printing I zoom around 125% (try and error) in Acrobat Reader killing some of the margins and print two pages on one. –  Marcel Bischoff Jan 20 '11 at 10:32

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