I am trying to print a PDF file generated with pdfLaTeX, but the OS X (10.8) CUPS always shifts and scales the content of the page, without me having any chance to change that behavior.

To reproduce:

  1. Create PDF using pdfLaTeX

    pdflatex testpage
  2. Choose paper size and/or double sided

  3. Open document

    open testpage.pdf

Everything looks as expected in the Preview application, but when I select "Print", even when setting the scale to 100%, the margins are different on all sides, the print size is wrong and shifted. This does not depend on the printer driver I select to print. I have tested with a Canon, a TA and a Dell printer.

Even in the CUPS web interface, I could not find a way to prevent it from altering the document layout.

The print preview in Preview seems accurate, but the scaling and positioning is incorrect as it then comes out of the printer.

How can I fix this?

  • Does lpr testpage.pdf work?
    – lhf
    Oct 21, 2013 at 23:06
  • No, it doesn't. Pending verification, it now seems that the PDF was produced in letter format, and the CUPS only trying to do it's best to match that to DIN A4 paper.
    – Frank
    Oct 22, 2013 at 7:37
  • \usepackage{geometry} Oct 22, 2013 at 21:58

1 Answer 1


Indeed, the whole problem was rooted in the generated PDF file having letter paper format.

After configuring MacTeX to use default a4 paper

texconfig paper a4

Everything is printed as expected.

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