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In the post Should I use \documentclass[12pt]{article} with \Large or \documentclass{article} with \LARGE?,

Percusse made the following comment:

PDF is vector. Shrink paper size, print big!

QUESTION: Does this mean that if one geometrically reduces the paper size from say paperwidth=5in and paperheight=8in to, say, paperwidth=4in and paperheight=6in, \footnotesize will actually appear larger in the latter than it would in the former?

I ask, because I have been working on a 4'' x 6'' book, in which footnotesize, in no way, appears to be too small; whereas, I suspect it would be far too small if the book were geometrically larger.

Are my eyes, perhaps, playing tricks on me? I have printed a couple of page sized by side an a landscape 8 1/2'' x 11'' piece of paper and the footnote fontsize seems fine to me---but I could very well be wrong.

For what it's worth, I have put together the following MWE which sets the default font size at 10pt and prints a few sentences with the default, with normalsize (which seems to be the deafault), and footnotesize (with a footnote)---the font sizes of which appear (roughly) to be the same.

\documentclass[titlepage,10pt]{book}
\usepackage[showframe,margin=.3in,paperwidth=4in,paperheight=6in]{geometry}

\textheight=5.25in 
\hoffset 10pt
\topmargin -65pt
\headheight 15pt 
\headsep 10pt 
\marginparwidth 35pt


\begin{document}
\thispagestyle{empty}

This is a sentence. (default (10pt)) \\[15pt]

\normalsize
This is a sentence. (normalsize) \\[15pt]

\footnotesize
This is a sentence. (footnotesize)\footnote{This is a footnote.}
\end{document}

which produces

enter image description here

Thank you.

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  • Underfull \hbox (badness 10000) in paragraph at lines 15--16 :( Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 16:04
  • note as percusse commented later the first comment was intended mostly as a joke, but anyway if you are using fonts with optical scaling specifying a font that is twice the size is not the same as scaling the document later. One uses a 20pt font designed for headings one uses a 10pt font designed for text, enlarged. Either have their uses, it depends what the use is. Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 16:11
  • @DavidCarlisle Thank you for your comments; may I assume then that a 10pt font size, regardless of the geometrical size of the book, will always print the same size? And if so, then will normalsize, large, Large, and so forth, when used in conjunction with 10pt font size with any paper dimensions will always print the same as well?
    – DDS
    Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 16:20
  • 1
    well yes asuming you don't scale on printing. That is if you want a large-print book for children or accssibility or whatever, rather than use \large everywhere you can design for A6 and print (scaled x 2) on A4, or for US paper design for 5" but print on 10" that was I believe the context of the old question asking about \large, But if you are designing on 5" to print unscaled at 5" then naturally you get the size you specify. Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 16:53
  • Many thanks @DavidCarlisle
    – DDS
    Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 17:01

1 Answer 1

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Note as percusse commented later the first comment was intended mostly as a joke, but anyway if you are using fonts with optical scaling specifying a font that is twice the size is not the same as scaling the document later. One uses a 20pt font designed for headings one uses a 10pt font designed for text, enlarged. Either have their uses, it depends what the use is.

If you want a large-print book for children or accssibility or whatever, rather than use \large everywhere you can design for A6 and print (scaled x 2) on A4, or for US paper design for 5" but print on 10" that was I believe the context of the old question asking about \large, But if you are designing on 5" to print unscaled at 5" then naturally you get the size you specify.

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  • Thank you David Carlisle.
    – DDS
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 11:11

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