[texhax] Page dimensions differ when LaTeX run on different host

Barbara Beeton bnb at ams.org
Wed Jan 16 17:20:36 CET 2008

niall mansfield writes,

    I'm working on a book in LaTeX (thank goodness :-).
    When I LaTeX the file here, the output is 470 pages long.
    When someone at a different site does it, the output is 530 pages.

    The 'layout' package shows the following dimensions (all in pt) differ:

    				Mine	His
    				----	---
    	\oddsidemargin		-21	-11
    	\textheight		538	462
    	\topmargin		-39	-23
    	\textwidth		402	352

    The page dimensions are set with:


    How do you go about tracking down the cause of the differences?  The
    only thing I can think of is to get a copy of all the .sty files used
    (perhaps using the 'snapshot' package) and switching them in one by
    one, but I dread the prospect.  Is there a better way?

the method i use when diagnosing problems is
to first get a copy of the two logs.  then:
 - make a list of the files input for run A,
   along with version number and date;
 - in the same list, add two more columns
   for the version numbers and dates shown
   in the log for run B.

if the sty files are well behaved, they will
have a \ProvidesPackage entry that reports
dates and version numbers in the log; if they
don't, write a polite note to the maintainer
asking that a \ProvidesPackage line be added
with the next update.

assume that the files *are* well behaved.

it's really easy to narrow down such a list
to only the files that are different.  then
a "diff" of the two versions should be adequate
to locate the actual differences.

of course, if someone has made "unauthorized"
local changes to any of the files, this "quick"
method won't work.  but i still prefer to use
the "diff" method of comparison (i actually
use emacs and a two-window compare) to making
substitutions one by one and running latex.

good luck.
							-- bb

More information about the texhax mailing list