So far, I have set org-latex-packages-alist to '(("margin=2cm" "geometry")), but if the geometry-package is explicitly loaded in a document, I get a clash.

I can use \newgeometry{margin=1cm} in the document, but then latex produces errors on different configurations.

Is there a way to set the default margin (ideally through geometry) without clashing with existing configurations in documents?

  • I can make a lot of guesses about what you are asking, but it would be better if you explained it. My main question is: if you include geometry in the packages alist, why would you explicitly load it again later?
    – NickD
    Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 1:10
  • Because I want the document to be usable with different emacs configurations, and margins is (in my works) a common thing to change.
    – xeruf
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 17:00
  • What do those different emacs configurations share? How do they differ? If options clash when you use them with \usepackage, how about not using them that way? You can make geometry an always-included package (without any options) and define the class(es) you use to set options in the preamble with \geometry{margin=2cm} afterwards (see org-latex-classes). If somebody uses \geometry{margin=10cm} later, I don't think that causes any clash. Assuming that works, would that answer your question?
    – NickD
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 19:04
  • Basically, I want the document to be usable on someone else's Emacs configuration, or a blank one. Isn't there some load-package-if-not-loaded-yet kinda macro in latex? Edit: Found it, will add it myself
    – xeruf
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 19:45
  • The Org mode document? Or the LaTeX document? The former will need some configuration on the Emacs side. The latter will need a TeXLive installation with all of the relevant packages. Neither is self-contained.
    – NickD
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 20:56

2 Answers 2


Found a good solution for my case: The fullpage latex package.

This package sets all 4 margins to be either 1 inch or 1.5 cm, and specifies the page style.

Which is exactly what I needed, while I can still load geometry within the document to override it.

So I added it to my org-latex-packages-alist:

(setq org-latex-packages-alist '(("" "fullpage") ("avoid-all" "widows-and-orphans") ("" "svg"))

Putting this in the document will set a margin regardless of whether the emacs configuration already loads geometry, but it is a bit clunky and not DRY.

#+LATEX_HEADER: \makeatletter \@ifpackageloaded{geometry}{\geometry{margin=2cm}}{\usepackage[margin=2cm]{geometry}} \makeatother

A solution that modifies my configuration rather than the document would be nicer.

  • 1
    org-format-latex-header is used for fragment I believe, not whole documents. You should check out org-latex-classes for whole documents as I pointed out in one of my comments.
    – NickD
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 20:47

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