I'm trying to change the font size of the references using the shrink of the frame argument. However, if I run this code:


\usepackage[style=apa, backend=biber,doi,url]{biblatex}

  Author = {An Author},
  Journal = {A Journal},
  Pages = {1--2},
  Title = {Some title},
  Volume = {1},
  Year = {1900}






I get the following error:

! Arithmetic overflow.
\beamer@shrinkframebox ...\@tempdimc by\@tempcnta 
                                                  \relax \ifdim \@tempdimc >...
l.32 }

! Emergency stop.
\beamer@shrinkframebox ...\@tempdimc by\@tempcnta 
                                                  \relax \ifdim \@tempdimc >...
l.32 }

If I remove the shrink argument it works.

I'm using TexLive 2011 on Debian Squeeze and I updated all my packages ;).

  • Test with \frame[shrink=50,fragile], this often helps if you are doing complex stuff on your frame ;-)
    – schlamar
    May 24, 2012 at 11:51
  • Thanks for your help! With \frame[shrink=50,fragile] I get Runaway argument? ! File ended while scanning use of \next.
    – deboerk
    May 24, 2012 at 12:53
  • What happens if you change directly the font size, for example with \tiny?
    – schlamar
    May 24, 2012 at 13:04
  • The font size of the references stays the same.
    – deboerk
    May 24, 2012 at 13:22
  • 4
    Maybe \renewcommand*{\bibfont}{\scriptsize} will help.
    – André
    May 24, 2012 at 17:18

3 Answers 3


I think \renewcommand*{\bibfont}{\scriptsize} will help! ;)

  • 3
    Worked for me with biblatex! May 6, 2015 at 15:53
  • Works for me with biblatex and option [backend=biber] also! Aug 30, 2019 at 14:23

I'm not using biblatex and André's answer did not work for me. I managed to achieve the result with the following:

\setbeamerfont{bibliography item}{size=\footnotesize}
\setbeamerfont{bibliography entry author}{size=\footnotesize}
\setbeamerfont{bibliography entry title}{size=\footnotesize}
\setbeamerfont{bibliography entry location}{size=\footnotesize}
\setbeamerfont{bibliography entry note}{size=\footnotesize}

In case it matters, I'm using the metropolis theme.

  • 2
    This worked for me with metropolis as well. I wonder if this can be achieved more concisely?
    – Chester
    Nov 5, 2016 at 15:07

I tried André's answer with no success. I found a work-around, if you need a quick solution:

  1. Compile your beamer document including the bibliography (correct settings of citing/formatting style etc.).

  2. open the *.bbl file and copy all its contents (\begin{thebibliography} ...\end{thebibliography}).

  3. Paste it over the \bibliograpy{yourbibfile} command.

  4. put a \small tag after \begin{thebibliography} for a smaller fontsize for your references!

As I said, its a quick way, if you don't want to fuss around. The downside being its complete absence of reactiveness to changes (\...cite commands) in your document.

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SX! I've taken the liberty of editing your answer, to keep it in line with the site's style.
    – egreg
    Jul 9, 2013 at 17:03
  • Welcome to TeX.SX! You can have a look on our starter guide to familiarize yourself further with our format. Jul 9, 2013 at 17:24
  • Note that copy pasting bibliography is recommended for using bibtex with beamer Sep 17, 2020 at 6:32

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