The following example makes a huge box that's the full width of the text, including the equation number:


Is there a way to get a box just around the equation itself?


Best is to use boxed from amsmath.

Using \verb|boxed| from \verb|amsmath|:
Using \verb|fbox|:


enter image description here

If you use align and friends from amsamth, you are better off with Aboxed from mathtools package. A relevant and useful reference will be This question and its answers.

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