How can I customize the font-size in my headings pagestyle? The problem is that some chapters have too long name but I don't want to use any abbreviation in the header.


  • Take a look at the fancyhdr package. It is used to customize heading and footer – Spike Jul 9 '12 at 9:58
  • do you want to use a small font in all headings, or just those with long titles? If the latter do you also have a table of contents, and do you want the font to be small there? – David Carlisle Jul 9 '12 at 10:34
  • In all headings. I know that it's advisable using fancyhdr, but I'm struggling on. – FrankBr Jul 9 '12 at 10:36
  • depending on the actual length of the chapter titles, it might be well to consider making the header two lines, rather than making the font too small to read. – barbara beeton Jul 9 '12 at 13:32

Without knowing the class-file you are using, it is difficult to advise you. I will try:

1 Komascript
If you are using one of the standard classes (book, report or article), you may just change to the similar drop in replacement from the Komascript-bundle. Place the following in your preamble:


This ensure that all headings will have matching layout.

2 sectsty
Another possibility is to use the package secsty. You can for example put the line


in your preamble. This will make the chapter font smaller, but not the font for other sections.

3 titlesec
A third option is the package titlesec. It is an advance package with lot of options, but to just reduce the size of the sections, you can put the line


in your preamble. titlesec has an easy interface for the beginners (with limited option) and an advance interface for more experienced users (more or less without any limitation).

NB! titlesec has also ‘sister’-packages to change the layout on running headers and the table of content. (And the same author has the enumitem-package to set up lists of all kinds).

4 Hacking the standard classes
You have also a fourth option; to hack the standard classes by redefining the internal commands for sectioning headings.

Please, take a look at Vincent Zoonekynd homepage, where you will find necessary code. As you will see, it is low level TeX, so I recommend one of the first three options mentioned above.

In an answer to the question How to control chapter headings in report documentclass you will find some instruction how to change the code. Please, give me a notice if you want further assistance.

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