4.1.1 The \paper block

\paper blocks may be placed in three different places to form a descending hierarchy of \paper blocks:

A \paper block cannot be placed within a \score block.

The values of the fields filter down this hierarchy, with the values set higher in the hierarchy persisting unless they are over-ridden by a value set lower in the hierarchy.

Several \paper blocks can appear at each of the levels, for example as parts of several \included files. If so, the fields at each level are merged, with values encountered last taking precedence if duplicated fields appear.

Settings that can appear in a \paper block include:

The set-paper-size function is discussed in the next section, Paper size and automatic scaling. The \paper variables that deal with page layout are discussed in later sections. The markup definitions that deal with headers, footers, and titles are discussed in Custom titles headers and footers.

Most \paper variables will only work in a \paper block. The few that will also work in a \layout block are listed in The \layout block.

Except when specified otherwise, all \paper variables that correspond to distances on the page are measured in millimeters, unless a different unit is specified by the user. For example, the following declaration sets top-margin to ten millimeters:

\paper {
  top-margin = 10

To set it to 0.5 inches, use the \in unit suffix:

\paper {
  top-margin = 0.5\in

The available unit suffixes are \mm, \cm, \in, and \pt. These units are simple values for converting from millimeters; they are defined in ‘ly/paper-defaults-init.ly’. For the sake of clarity, when using millimeters, the \mm is typically included in the code, even though it is not technically necessary.

It is also possible to define \paper values using Scheme. The Scheme equivalent of the above example is:

\paper {
  #(define top-margin (* 0.5 in))

See also

Notation Reference: Paper size and automatic scaling, Custom titles headers and footers, The \layout block.

Installed Files: ‘ly/paper-defaults-init.ly’.

LilyPond — Notation Reference v2.21.82 (development-branch).