two ways to make different sizes

August 26, 2008

Is mathURL showing up too big or too small for you? There’s two ways to change the size of your math. Click each equation to see the LaTeX source.

LaTeX size commands

The most obvious way to get your math in different sizes is to use the built-in LaTeX size commands.

\tiny


\scriptsize


\footnotesize


\small


\normalsize


\large


\Large


\huge


\Huge

Rendering resolution

However, since mathURL must rasterize the output of LaTeX, you can also specify the resolution you want this to occur at, using the \dpi psuedo-command.

\dpi{72}


\dpi{120}


\dpi{300}

The difference

Due to the magic of METAFONT, the Computer Modern TeX font changes shape subtly at different sizes, to make them easier to read: small fonts are proportionally wider and have heavier strokes, while large fonts have thinner strokes. For instance, compare these two examples:

\tiny


\dpi{72}

The first is a genuine small font as produced by METAFONT, whereas the second is the normal-size Computer Modern font, optically shrunk smaller.

Which to use? If you’re simply embedding equations in text, use the appropriate LaTeX command to go with your text size. On the other hand, if you’re generating high-resolution images to embed in your presentation, use the \dpi command. (And just say no to Microsoft Equation Editor. Blech!)

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