Paper size

David Carlisle d.p.carlisle at
Sun May 16 22:47:54 CEST 2021

That is not a change in texlive 2021, that has been the latex behaviour
since the start.
The default latex paper size is US letter, use the [a4paper]  documentclass
option to specify A4.

For various unfortunate historical reasons, latex can not specify the media
size to use until it
knows which backend is in use, which typically means loading graphicx, or
geometry or hyperref.
Without using a backend package the default page size and the a4paper
option affect the size
of the typeset block but not the size of the media.


On Sun, 16 May 2021 at 21:40, Keno Wehr <wehr at> wrote:

> Having updated to TL 2021 I noticed that the PDF files generated by TeX
> are not always in the A4 format even though `tlmgr paper' reports that
> A4 is set.
> A minimal example is:
> \documentclass{article}
> \usepackage{graphicx}
> \begin{document}
> Hello world!
> \end{document}
> The PDF viewer reports "US-Letter (216 × 279 mm)" as paper size of the
> output (equally for pdflatex, xelatex, and lualatex). The log file for
> xelatex is attached.
> However, if I uncomment the \usepackage command, I get A4 output.
> Keno
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the tex-live mailing list.