I am an eighth grader that needs some help. I am a noob at anything TeX or LaTeX, and am just starting out. I am using USBTeX, just in case that matters.

I cannot seem to change the text size in the \documentclass[]{} thingy in the beginning of the document. My TeX editor sets it to 10pt at default, but when I try to change it to something different, nothing happens. Any ideas?

  • Have you tried \documentclass[11pt]{...} or \documentclass[12pt]{...}? There are only certain sizes supported by certain document classes. What document class are you using? Also, what size do you want it to change to? Do you receive any errors/warnings when you compile? If so, what do they say?
    – Werner
    May 9, 2012 at 19:08
  • Alright, so I am using article, this is what my "mentor" told me to use. And I think the error is something like "font size not used" or something similar... May 9, 2012 at 19:20
  • 2
    A big welcome to TeX.SX! If you want a better range of font size options, with things like \Large suitably adjusted, you might want to try memoir. Something like \documentclass[9pt,article]{memoir}. It has lots more, too, and might be a good path for investing your learning time. May 10, 2012 at 12:36

2 Answers 2


The only sizes supported by the document class option in the standard classes are 10pt 11pt and 12pt. To get text at other sizes you can use commands such as \large or \tiny within the document. Normally though you should not be using font size commands within a document. Heading commands such as \section and other structural markup should be defined by the class to use an appropriate size. One of the aims of LaTeX is that you should as far as possible be using structural markup such as \section and \subsection and not using explicit font and size changes, which make it a lot harder to reformat your document for different purposes.


You may already have a document class with the ext prefix on it (such as extarticle instead of article as the document class. Give it a try, it works for the font sizes 8pt, 9pt, 10pt, 11pt, 12pt, 14pt, 17pt, and 20pt.

These document classes are available from the extsizes package, included in the Ubuntu package texlive-latex-recommended.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .