In an align environment in the amsmath package, sometimes an exponent like e^{...} is too small and a fraction like \frac{1}{2} is too small. I can use \tfrac to make fractions smaller, but for some reason there is no way to make them bigger. Whenever I've tried to use \hfrac it doesn't work. Is there also a way to make exponents larger in a similar way?

  • the "for some reason" is simply there are four styles fraction \frac selects the default, \tfrac forces textstyle, \dfrac forces display style, so if you are in display math \tfrac is smaller than \frac and dfrac is the same. Jan 2, 2019 at 23:55
  • Did you see the posting Fractions with large elements? The \ddfrac macro proposed in the accepted answer -- shameless self-citation alert! -- would appear to be what you're looking for in terms of fractions with "large" numerators and denominators.
    – Mico
    Jan 3, 2019 at 1:27

3 Answers 3


superscripts are in scriptstyle so in theory you could do

e^{\textstyle a+b}

to use a textstyle rather than scriptstyle superscript, but really, I wouldn't.

If you have a large expression here it is better to use a different syntax

\exp (a+b)

which naturally sets the expression in textstyle

  • 1
    In some contexts, e.g. schools, it might be preferable to use the e^{}-notation instead of the \exp()-notation.
    – Toscho
    Jan 2, 2019 at 22:10
  • exp might work, I'll give it a try. "h" also came from a past question I saw on this very site. But, there might have been some extra environment.
    – user14554
    Jan 2, 2019 at 22:10
  • For the most part exp solves the problem. Though, it would still be nice to have more control over \textstyle since it is less convenient to read.
    – user14554
    Jan 2, 2019 at 22:31
  • 1
    @user14554 math fonts are set at four styles (usually three sizes) displaystyle textstyle subscriptstyle and subsubscriptsyle so they are always available, but to get other sizes would require more extensive setup Jan 2, 2019 at 22:42
  • You say it's available in only three sizes, yet if you nest exponents or fractions, it will perpetually adjust them to be smaller or larger.
    – user14554
    Jan 2, 2019 at 22:47

Caution: This should be wisely used!

The macro \DeclareMathSizes{}{}{}{} has four arguments; text size, math sizes in display/text style, script style and scriptscript style, respectively.




\frac{2x}{3y+z} 12e^{a+b}

  • Can I use these arbitrarily within any point in any part of an align environment? Could I make one fraction smaller while retaining the size of all others within one align environment?
    – user14554
    Jan 2, 2019 at 22:29
  • @user14554 this is only intended as a global document setting, it sets up the three sizes as i mentioned. Jan 2, 2019 at 22:49
  • So in other words you're saying no, I can't arbitrarily change the sizes of only individual fractions with this?
    – user14554
    Jan 2, 2019 at 23:03
  • 3
    The command in my answer changes all math components in the document, for fractions, you have \frac, \dfrac, \mfrac, and \tfrac, if all these sizes are not sufficient, you can change the size arbitrarily using \scalebox{<factor>}{$\frac{}{}$}. You need graphicx package for that command.
    – AboAmmar
    Jan 2, 2019 at 23:18

You can use \displaystyle and the like to change the size inside a math environment.


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