Number of pages in my pdf-document [article] decreases when font size increases – and v.v.!

It kind of resembles an optimum of maximum page numbers as function of font size (which I don't want). When increasing the font size:


to, e.g. 16pt or 18pt, the resulting font size as appears in the pdf-file, decreases as compared to 12pt! Any thoughts on that? The resulting font size as appears in the pdf-file also decreases for decreasing font size given in \documentclass[...].

  • So as you go from say [10pt] to [11pt] in font the number of pages decreases? Maybe the increase font helps manage wasted space with floating environments causing less unnecessary page breaks. That is just me winging it.
    – dustin
    Aug 15, 2013 at 20:43
  • 2
    It isn't clear what your question is? It is not surprising that the page breaks change when the font changes, and if they change the total count can go up or down, in particular figures and other big things may just fit better and end up with less wasted space Aug 15, 2013 at 20:43
  • 1
    (a) if the document is two-sided, extra pages sometimes show up as blanks between chapters, especially if just one line happens to sneak over onto an odd-numbered page at the end of a chapter. so shortening by one line could actually eliminate two pages. (b) if the text is mostly short paragraphs that end with a short line, the number of lines might not increase, and together with float positioning and how chapters end, total pages might decrease, but not by a whole lot. you might check to make sure no big chunk has been omitted; spot check chapter starting page numbers. Aug 15, 2013 at 21:11
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    With the standard classes only 10pt, 11pt and 12pt are available, so if you try 16pt, it will use the default that is 10pt. Aug 15, 2013 at 21:35
  • I think this is a duplicate of How to specify font size less than 10pt (or more than 12pt)? unless there is good reason.
    – Joseph Wright
    Aug 16, 2013 at 6:01

1 Answer 1


The standard classes (article, report, book) only support font size options 10pt, 11pt, and 12pt. The default is 10pt.

If a different size is specified, e.g.:


and no package can handle that option, then LaTeX complains with a warning:

LaTeX Warning: Unused global option(s):

Then the default 10pt is used instead of the specified 18pt.

There are other classes that can handle more font size options, examples:

  • Class extreport: 8pt, 9pt, 10pt, 11pt, 12pt, 14pt 17pt, 20pt
  • Class memoir: 9pt, 10pt, 11pt, 12pt, 14pt, 17pt, 20pt, 25pt, 30pt

See also How to specify font size less than 10pt (or more than 12pt)?.

  • I do not know, why this simple question has eight comments and no answer, thus I have written an answer (community wiki) using some of the comments. Aug 16, 2013 at 7:38

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