TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am using the thebibliography command in LaTeX to generate a bibliography under a "References" heading at the end of a paper. My bibliography is not stored in a separate TeX file, but rather is just typed under the command \begin{thebibliography} at the end of the paper. I would like to reduce the font size of my bibliography. I tried using the command suggested in the first answer here How to change font size for bibliography?, but it did not seem to work for me. It appears to be intended for documents with a separate bibliography file, which I do not have. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can reduce the font size with thebibliography?

share|improve this question
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Enclose the thebibliography environment in a group and switch to \footnotesize within the group. EDIT: Or even better, switch to \footnotesize inside the thebibliography environment.




Some text in \verb|\normalsize| \cite{test}.


\bibitem{test} A bibliography item in \verb|\footnotesize|.


enter image description here

share|improve this answer
Thanks, this worked. Is there any way to reduce the spacing between bib items? – user15464 Dec 31 '11 at 22:38
Add \setlength{\itemsep}{0pt} after \footnotesize. – lockstep Dec 31 '11 at 22:43
How to reduce the size of the word References ? – Deepesh Patel Apr 14 at 17:45

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.