I want to scale the entire contents of a document to make them smaller. Changing the font size the usual way is not desired, as this changes how the text looks:

screenshot 10pt font screenshot 5pt font

In other words, I want something similar to \scalebox{}{} or \resizebox{}{} — to change the size of the text without changing its font. I'm saying "size of the text" instead of "size of the font" or "font size" to clarify the difference from the readily available mechanism to change font size, which has the undesired side-effect of also changing the font itself ever so slightly.

What I can do, of course, is to just make the page bigger (i.e. use e.g. a3paper instead of a4paper, an approach taken here), but that seems like a dirty solution (if you'd print it out on A4 paper, however, it'd give pretty much exactly the desired output). I also don't want to change my \documentclass to KOMA-Script or such, as done here.

I tried \relscale{} from this answer and \scalefont{} from the scalefnt package, but these just seem to change the font size the usual way (as opposed to scaling the text directly, i.e. linearly scaling/changing font size). \resizebox and \scalebox don't respect linebreaks (manual or automatic), and I think they're not really intended made for modifying an entire document.

Ideally, the answer would behave just like e.g. \small or \footnotesize, in the sense that it'd be a switch that would affect its entire scope and work with math-mode, multicols, tabular, etc.

I hope this is not a duplicate, I couldn't find any answer to my question here (though, as mentioned above, there are a few similar questions). MWE not really applicable, but I'm using \documentclass{article} and compiling with LuaLaTeX (ideally, though, the answer would work with other documentclasses and with pdfLaTeX as well).

Edit: Tried to improve the question by rephrasing or clarifying.

  • 1
    (I'd appreciate a hint of what I've missed or could improve in my question along with the downvote)
    – steve
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 10:46
  • I'm not the downvoter. Let me just say that I find your posting anything but clear. On the one hand, you seem to rule out setting a smaller font size for the entire document (based on a specious argument, by the way). On the other hand, you seem to advocate using \small or \footnotesize throughout the document -- which, of course, is entirely equivalent to setting a smaller font size to begin with. Please clarify what you're trying to accomplish.
    – Mico
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 12:12
  • 2
    See egreg's answer at tex.stackexchange.com/questions/18721/selecting-optical-size. This is how you tell what shape to use for a given font size. Commented May 6, 2020 at 13:11
  • 1
    @StevenB.Segletes That is the answer, thank you! Not sure if that makes this a duplicate, but if you post it as an answer I'll readily accept it.
    – steve
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 14:19
  • 1
    If that answer works for you, best to call it a duplicate. Commented May 6, 2020 at 14:21


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