I am working in an align environment, where I have a long equation. To make it fit within the line width, I wrap a small environment around the align one:


The problem I have is that not only is the size of the equation reduced, but also the size of the tag number at the end of the line, a feature I want to avoid.

How to have a math environment in small font size except for the equation tag?

  • Why not just break it into multiple lines. There might be ways of adjusting the content without having to adjust the size. Can you provide more context in the form of a minimal example?
    – Werner
    Dec 6, 2022 at 0:31
  • @Werner it's actually a long fraction, so breaking it down into multiple lines would read awkwardly here. Dec 6, 2022 at 0:34
  • How about defining some components as variables to shorten the fraction... just a suggestion.
    – Werner
    Dec 6, 2022 at 5:37
  • do you mean you have small around align? I can't see how you can have alugn around small? small long fractions hard to read consider setting as *a/b where a=..... and b=...^ Dec 6, 2022 at 8:10
  • 2
    In general it is never a good idea to resort to scaling down the font of a displayed equation. Rephrase at least for the sake of your readers.
    – daleif
    Dec 6, 2022 at 9:25

1 Answer 1


The equation tag is typeset using \normalfont which invokes the eponymous hook. You can just add \normalsize to that hook to also reset the font size.

This requires a fairly new LaTeX since the hook management was only introduced recently.

    ... \tag{small tag}

    ... \tag{normal tag}


enter image description here

  • 1
    Adding \normalsize to \normalfont would be a reasonable update to amsmath (it's more often wanted than not, and if it's not wanted, would be easy to patch). Trickier is avoiding the effects on the preceding paragraph; see my comment to the question. (That effect drives competent copyeditors bonkers.) It would improve your answer to show a multiline paragraph above the display. Jan 14, 2023 at 21:28

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