I am using the thebibliography command in LaTeX to generate a bibliography under a "References" heading at the end of a paper. My bibliography is not stored in a separate TeX file, but rather is just typed under the command \begin{thebibliography} at the end of the paper. I would like to reduce the font size of my bibliography. I tried using the command suggested in the first answer here How to change font size for bibliography?, but it did not seem to work for me. It appears to be intended for documents with a separate bibliography file, which I do not have. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can reduce the font size with thebibliography?

1 Answer 1


Enclose the thebibliography environment in a group and switch to \footnotesize within the group. EDIT: Or even better, switch to \footnotesize inside the thebibliography environment.




Some text in \verb|\normalsize| \cite{test}.


\bibitem{test} A bibliography item in \verb|\footnotesize|.


enter image description here

  • Thanks, this worked. Is there any way to reduce the spacing between bib items?
    – user15464
    Dec 31, 2011 at 22:38
  • Add \setlength{\itemsep}{0pt} after \footnotesize.
    – lockstep
    Dec 31, 2011 at 22:43
  • How to reduce the size of the word References ? Apr 14, 2016 at 17:45

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