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In a document, I'd like to change the font size of a single align environment (not globally throughout the document). What is the proper way to do this? I've been using

Preceding paragraph.
{\tiny
    \begin{align}
        a &< b
    \end{align}
}
Following paragraph.

But this seems to cause some weird artifacts (e.g., an unwanted indentation at the beginning of the following paragraph).

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I do not see any artifacts in your example. –  Boris Nov 3 '11 at 18:52

1 Answer 1

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Insert a % symbol after closing the group with \tiny:

{\tiny
}%
Following paragraph.

Otherwise the line break in the source is treated like a space, which causes that small indentation of the following paragraph.

Furthermore, consider adjusting the spacing around that align environment. The spacing before and after a displayed math environment with smaller font could be made smaller than a normal one. Such changes have only local effect because of the grouping by braces.

For example:

Preceding paragraph.
{\tiny  
  \setlength{\abovedisplayskip}{6pt}
  \setlength{\belowdisplayskip}{\abovedisplayskip}
  \setlength{\abovedisplayshortskip}{0pt}
  \setlength{\belowdisplayshortskip}{3pt}
  \begin{align}
      a &< b
  \end{align}
}%
Following paragraph.
share|improve this answer
    
Thanks! This is exactly what I was looking for. –  cbd Nov 3 '11 at 19:15
6  
one artifact not mentioned is that if the preceding paragraph has more than one line, the baselines of that paragraph will be the same as those for the "smallified" display, that is, too tight. the simplest cure for this problem is to leave a blank line or insert a \par before the grouped display. since it's bad form to allow a page break just before a display, \par\nobreak is an even better idea. vertical spacing between the paragraph and the display may be affected, but can be corrected by judicious use of \vspace{...}. –  barbara beeton Nov 3 '11 at 21:36
    
Thanks, I noticed this later and was about to ask this follow-up question! –  cbd Nov 4 '11 at 8:22

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