[NTG-context] Why is the textarea not centered by default?

Henning Hraban Ramm texml at fiee.net
Thu Nov 5 21:58:45 CET 2020

> Am 05.11.2020 um 16:21 schrieb Pablo Rodriguez <oinos at gmx.es>:
> I’m not expert on typesetting, but I read somewhere (too long ago to be
> able to remember when) that printed papers should have wider outer
> margins to put your fingers on it.

In classical book layout, the two inner margins (2*backspace) should equal one outer margin.

But this makes *only* sense with thread-bound books that you can open completely.

In glued (perfect bound) books, the inner margin should be at least the same if not bigger than the outer margins to get a similar view.

Modern books, independent of binding techniques, usually don’t use a classical book layout, because that uses a lot of whitespace, i.e. more pages = higher printing and shipping costs.

It’s still true that margins should be big enough for your fingers – but depending on size and content of the book, different uses might suggest different space placement. E.g. I’d use a big inner margin for guides that you usually keep in one hand, thumb in the middle. For textbooks, a big bottom margin makes sense, because you can put it in a stand. A song book / hymnal you’d hold in both hands, so it needs big enough outer margins.


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