Is it possible to define the text of the second levels in lists of itemize- and/or enumerate-environments to be set with \small without having to write that command for each instance?

And it is possible to implement that definition as a switch in the document perhaps, i.e. that at one point, the small can be switched back to normalsize?

I used enumitem for the MWE and as far as I can tell, it strictly relates to the label of an item instance:

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Picture of MWE/Problem

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% !TeX spellcheck = en_Us




\setlist[itemize,1]{label=\textcolor{black!60!white}{$ \bullet $}}
\setlist[itemize,2]{label=-,leftmargin=1.2em, font=\small}



Here are some words to form some random text.
    \item The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
    \item The following contents are written with \verb|\begin{itemize}\small|:
        \item It works, but it should automatically be typeset in \verb*|\small|, without having to define that command.
        \item Again the thing with the quick brown fox.
    \item Another example without \verb|\small| after \verb|\begin{itemize}|in the \LaTeX{} code.
            \item This is not small.
            \item It is normal-sized.
  • before=\small should work. Jun 5 at 12:50
  • @UlrikeFischer That works. If you post your comment as an answer, I could mark it as solved. :)
    – henry
    Jun 5 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


You can use the before key:

\setlist[itemize,2]{label=-,leftmargin=1.2em, before=\small}

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