In my document, I am using a font and size which just makes scriptscriptstyle too small, and it looks weird to me:

With scriptscriptstyle index

If instead of \sqrt[3]{...} I write \sqrt[\scriptstyle 3]{...} it looks better:

With scriptstyle

And I want to apply this to all the square roots in my document, without typing \scriptstyle every single time.

My first solution was this:


but then I can't use \uproot{} in \sqrt to adjust some fractions. (I'm not sure why, but it throws an error)

So, my next solution attempt was to look into the definition of \sqrt (using \show in a console)

> \sqrt =\long macro:
->\@ifnextchar [\@sqrt \sqrtsign .
<argument> \sqrt

then I looked into the \@sqrt definition:

> \@sqrt=macro:
[#1]->\root #1\of .
<argument> \@sqrt

finally I had a look at the \root definition and I found what I wanted:

> \root=macro:
#1\of ->\setbox \rootbox \hbox {$\m@th \scriptscriptstyle {#1}$}\mathpalette \r
@@t .
<argument> \root

so I just had to redefine \root to the exact same but changing \scriptscriptstyle to \scriptstyle. I tried the following:


but it just throws a ton of illegible errors and breaks the whole document. I don't think I understood correctly the definition of \root, so my code isn't okay. How would you do this?

I'd appreciate your help.

1 Answer 1


I do not recommend hacking these macros but I think you are looking for


enter image description here

This is because from the definition you post

> \root=macro:
#1\of ->\setbox \rootbox \hbox {$\m@th \scriptscriptstyle {#1}$}\mathpalette \r
@@t .
<argument> \root

an \of is part of the \root definition.

  • Thank you! The -> was confusing me. May 29, 2020 at 6:32

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