I am trying to write code for a diagram I have in tikz. I am very new to tikz so this may be an easy question but here goes. I have some code like the following:

\draw [<->, thick] (0,0) coordinate (a_1) -- (2,1.8) coordinate (a_2)node[right]{$\mathcal{M}$};
\draw [<->, thick, color=black!40!blue] (1,0) coordinate (b_1) node[right]{$\mathcal{N}$}-- (1,2) coordinate (b_2);

\coordinate (c) at (intersection of a_1--a_2 and b_1--b_2);
\fill (c) circle (2pt) node[right]{$X$};

But the issue I am having is that in more complicated diagrams, the text labels are in too large of font and intersects with lines. How can I make the font in the label nodes smaller?

2 Answers 2


You can use the font key as an optional argument to the tikzpicture.

% ....

Or if you want this for all your tikzpictures in your document, put this somewhere in your preamble:

\tikzset{every picture/.append style={font=\footnotesize}}
  • 1
    \tikzstyle is obsolete. Please use \tikzset and the /.append style key instead.
    – Tobi
    Sep 5, 2013 at 20:38
  • @Tobi, you are right, I know. I still prefer the old style... Nonetheless I changed it to the recommended way.
    – quinmars
    Sep 5, 2013 at 21:03
  • 1
    See Should \tikzset or \tikzstyle be used to define TikZ styles? for some more information on this topic.
    – Tobi
    Sep 5, 2013 at 21:46

As you notice the letters are inside nodes, so you can specify in each node in the attribute ``font'' the size desired, besides that, you can specify the relative positions of your text, below I am attaching your code with some node letter size attributes:

\draw [<->, thick] (0,0) coordinate (a_1) -- (2,1.8) coordinate (a_2)node[right, font=\tiny, anchor=270]{$M_{270}$}node[right, font=\tiny, anchor=180]{$M_{180}$}node[right, font=\tiny, anchor=150]{$M_{150}$};
\draw [<->, thick, color=black!40!blue] (1,0) coordinate (b_1) node[right, font=\tiny, anchor=south west]{$\mathcal{N}$}-- (1,2) coordinate (b_2);

\coordinate (c) at (intersection of a_1--a_2 and b_1--b_2);
\fill (c) circle (2pt) node[right, font=\tiny, anchor=east]{$X$};

enter image description here

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