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Example for a list using mdwlist:

\begin{itemize*}
\item First
\item Second
\end{itemize*}

The bullet symbol for the first level can be redefined with:

\renewcommand{\labelitemi}{$\bullet$}

It apparently uses a math environments symbol by default. I would like to reduce the size of it, but font size modifiers like \tiny seem to be invalid.

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4 Answers 4

For centering material vertically you can use \vcenter, but this only works in math mode. Thus you need to enter math mode twice:

\renewcommand{\labelitemi}{$\vcenter{\hbox{\tiny$\bullet$}}$}
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Well, this comes at last. The only disadvantage may be that it's not so friendly for most LaTeX users. How about \parbox[c]{.5em}{\tiny\textbullet}? It needs an extra width, but should be OK here. –  Leo Liu Jan 9 '11 at 17:24
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\renewcommand{\labelitemi}{{\tiny$\bullet$}}
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Thanks, that works, but it corrupts the vertical alignment of bullet and text. So I guess the font size should not be changed, instead I need another character with a smaller symbol. –  None Jan 8 '11 at 18:24
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The suggestion to use \renewcommand{\labelitemi}{{\tiny$\bullet$}} actually seems to leave the alignment alone, in that the baseline of the bullet is the baseline of the text. If you'd like to raise it, though, you can use

\renewcommand{\labelitemi}{\raise .5ex\hbox{\tiny$\bullet$}}
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This has the disadvantage that you have to do trial and error. –  Hendrik Vogt Jan 8 '11 at 21:13
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In case that a tiny bullet is a specific demand, you could use the \textperiodcentered command from the textcomp package in conjunction with the enumitem package for a compact list.

\documentclass[11pt,a4paper]{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{enumitem}
\usepackage{textcomp}

\begin{document}
  \begin{itemize}[label=\textperiodcentered,nolistsep]
    \item First
    \item Second
  \end{itemize}
\end{document}
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