How can I make a big summation sign?

‎\cos x‎ ‎=‎ ‎‎\sum\limits‎_‎{n=0}^{‎\‎‎infty‎} ‎\frac{(ix)^{2n‎}}{(2n)!}‎‎

this is the code which I'm using for summation

  • 5
    Isn't that big enough? By the way, you don't need \limits in an align; and you don't need it elsewhere, either.
    – egreg
    Jul 11, 2011 at 14:06
  • And you don't need \dfrac in an align, \frac is OK.
    – Leo Liu
    Jul 11, 2011 at 14:13
  • I agree with @egreg: using a consistent size of \sum could be better than varying the size manually depending on the following expression. Additional fine-tuning can be ok, however I would compare such equation design in good books before.
    – Stefan Kottwitz
    Jul 11, 2011 at 15:08
  • thank you very much , that's right but I'm typing my article just in the way my professor asked me !
    – Prelude
    Jul 11, 2011 at 15:16

3 Answers 3


You can use the command \mathlarger of the relsize package. It increases the size and it can be nested. For example:

‎‎\cos x‎ ‎=‎ \mathlarger{\mathlarger{‎‎\sum}}_{n=0}^{\infty}\frac{(ix)^2n}{(2n)!}‎‎

equation with bigger sum symbol


  • 4
    this command cannot be used inside align environment. Is it true ? for me nothing happened when I used this.
    – creative
    Mar 25, 2016 at 8:14
  • 1
    Works fine inside the align.
    – aiag
    Feb 11, 2017 at 23:49
  • @aiag I experience the same problem as Hirak. Using pdfTeX 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.17 (TeX Live 2016/TeX Live for SUSE Linux).
    – el_tenedor
    Dec 11, 2018 at 7:57
  • 1
    Just to add to the accepted answer, you should load the exscale package in order for relsize to scale maths symbols beyond the standard sizes.
    – Stefan
    Jul 24, 2021 at 7:01

Well, there's always a graphicx solution.


The command \nsum resizes the \sum symbol by the factor 1.4 (fits OP's fraction). It does take an optional argument to give another factor.

I admit that the \raisebox factor calculation is a bit sketchy as it uses the text style \sum symbol for the calculation but for cmr it's a good fit and I'm too lazy to take a closer look at the needed dimension calculation.


Another more dynamic approach would be to take the dimensions of the \sum's terms and resize the \sum sign so that it fits their vertical dimensions. To only specify the therms once the \resum also defines (overwrites) \s so that one can use

\resum{<what to sum>}_{foo}^{bar} \s

(I also tried to use \resizebox that takes the dimension instead of a factor, but I couldn't quite work out how to use \resizebox and \resizebox*.)

The second screenshot (produced by the lua-visual-debug package shows why \resum is in my eyes unstable and shouldn't be used. (But I don't think that a bigger \sum sign is even needed, anyway)


%\usepackage{lua-visual-debug} requires LuaTeX (used only for demonstration purposes)

\newcommand{\nsum}[1][1.4]{% only for \displaystyle

\newcommand{\resumaux}[2]{% internally

% http://tex.stackexchange.com/a/6424/16595
  \strip@pt\dimexpr\number\numexpr\number\dimexpr#1\relax*65536/\number\dimexpr#2\relax\relax sp\relax

  \cos x = \nsum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{(ix)^2n}{(2n)!}
  \sum_{n=1}^\infty \nsum_{1.4} \nsum[2]_2 \nsum[2.5]_{2.5} \nsum[3]_{n=1}^\infty \nsum[3]_{\displaystyle n=1}^{\displaystyle \infty}
     \cos x = \resum{\frac{(ix)^2n}{(2n)!}}_{n=0}^\infty \s \quad \resum{\frac{1}{2}}_{n=0}^\infty\s \quad \resum{\frac{\strut 1}{\strut 2}}_{n=0}^\infty\s 


Main output

A closer look at how \resum does (not) work

a closer look


If you're willing to use the Mathtime Professional II font package, you could use its \xl\sum, \XL\sum, \XXL\sum etc commands to get larger summation symbols.

enter image description here

The summation symbols below are generated by \texttt{\string\sum} as well as by \texttt{\string\xl\string\sum}, \texttt{\string\XL\string\sum}, and  \texttt{\string\XXL\string\sum} of the \texttt{mtpro2} package. (There is also \texttt{\string\XXXL\string\sum}, but it's not shown here.)
     \sum_{i=1}^N \frac{1}{2^{-i}} \qquad 
  \xl\sum_{i=1}^N \frac{1}{2^{-i}} \qquad 
  \XL\sum_{i=1}^N \frac{1}{2^{-i}} \qquad 
 \XXL\sum_{i=1}^N \frac{1}{2^{-i}}

Two additional comments. (i) The mtpro2 font package isn't free of charge, although it's not exactly expensive either; actually, all that's needed to produce the large summation symbols is the lite subset of the package, which is free of charge. (ii) The mtpro2 math font package uses a "Times Roman" font style; this may or may not be to your liking.

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