Formatting LaTeX for on-screen proof reading

A few people on twitter found this useful so here it is in full:

I’ve been writing a few papers lately and going through the cycle of write -> print -> proofread -> write, generating a lot of paper.  I’ve text to hard to read on screen, and raw LaTeX somehow feels too malleable to read as a document.  Then I thought the obvious; why not format the document for the screen.

I came up with this, two columns with minimal margins:

%\documentclass[compact,twocolumn]{article}
%\usepackage[top=0.1in, bottom=0.1in, left=0.3in, right=0.3in, paperwidth=11in, paperheight=7in]{geometry}
%\setlength{\columnsep}{30pt}

This fits nicely on my laptop screen but adjust for your particular aspect ratio and so on.  Then view in full screen or presentation mode and hey presto.  Evince in linux is great in presentation mode (rather than full screen mode, which keeps a menu bar), and automatically picks up changes when you recompile your PDF.

If you still find yourself with eye strain, rather than reading from paper, consider adjusting the position of your monitor.  There’s a lot of hype around e-paper, and it does look lovely, but I’m unsure that the evidence shows that LCDs are significantly worse for eye strain if at all…  Is light really that different when it reflects off something rather than emitting from something?  I reckon distance between eyes and monitor is a bigger factor at least.

One thought on “Formatting LaTeX for on-screen proof reading

  1. Thanks for that great idea, this is what I am using for my book on a 24″ 16:10 screen:

    \documentclass[12pt,twocolumn]{book}

    \usepackage[top=30mm, bottom=30mm, left=30mm, right=30mm, paperwidth=48cm, paperheight=30cm]{geometry}

    \setlength{\columnsep}{60pt}

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