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I've been looking around for a way to change the size of indices (all through the manuscript).

I found a lot of stuff, which could work, but I refuse to use without understandind. (See for example this post)

I while ago, I asked about changing the size of the \wedge symbol and the answer was to define a command

\newcommand{\w}{{\scriptstyle\wedge}}

Question

Is is possible to define something to make all indices a bit smaller?

  • It would help if you would post a link to some of the 'stuff' you are wondering about. – carsten Aug 13 '13 at 19:57
  • 1
    @carsten Sure, I edited the post to include a link. Thank you! – Dox Aug 13 '13 at 20:02
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You can use \DeclareMathSizes; here's what LaTeX has by default:

\DeclareMathSizes{5}{5}{5}{5}
\DeclareMathSizes{6}{6}{5}{5}
\DeclareMathSizes{7}{7}{5}{5}
\DeclareMathSizes{8}{8}{6}{5}
\DeclareMathSizes{9}{9}{6}{5}
\DeclareMathSizes{\@xpt}{\@xpt}{7}{5}
\DeclareMathSizes{\@xipt}{\@xipt}{8}{6}
\DeclareMathSizes{\@xiipt}{\@xiipt}{8}{6}
\DeclareMathSizes{\@xivpt}{\@xivpt}{\@xpt}{7}
\DeclareMathSizes{\@xviipt}{\@xviipt}{\@xiipt}{\@xpt}
\DeclareMathSizes{\@xxpt}{\@xxpt}{\@xivpt}{\@xiipt}
\DeclareMathSizes{\@xxvpt}{\@xxvpt}{\@xxpt}{\@xviipt}

What does this mean? Let's look at the line

\DeclareMathSizes{\@xpt}{\@xpt}{7}{5}

When the current size is 10pt (\@xpt is a synonym), LaTeX uses 10pt size for normal math, 7pt size for first level sub/superscripts, 5pt for the second level.

If you want to get smaller subscripts, you could say

\makeatletter
\DeclareMathSizes{\@xpt}{\@xpt}{6}{4.5}
\makeatother

Example

\RequirePackage{fix-cm}

\documentclass{article}
\makeatletter
\DeclareMathSizes{\@xpt}{\@xpt}{6}{4.5}
\makeatother

\begin{document}
$a_{b_c}$
\end{document}

Usage of fix-cm is necessary to get font size less than 5pt; alternatively you can load lmodern.

Here is the output; top the “reduced size”, bottom the normal output.

enter image description here

enter image description here

You'll need to redeclare math sizes for all font sizes you need.

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