# [OS X TeX] Changing the size of pp=th roots?

Michael Sharpe via MacOSX-TeX macosx-tex at email.esm.psu.edu
Thu Jun 3 00:39:44 CEST 2021


> On Jun 2, 2021, at 7:55 AM, David Derbes <derbes.physics at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> If one wants to indicate a pth root of, say, $k$, $\sqrt[p]{k}$, the $p$ often appears too low in the square root sign, or too close to the solidus. The fix is easy; one uses \uproot or \leftroot and adjusts accordingly.
>
> This is a slightly different annoyance. While reading a math text (Harold M. Edwards, Galois Theory, Springer, which I recommend highly), I was struck by the relative sizes of the $p$ and the quantity inside the root sign.
> In short, standard $\LaTeX$ prints the $p$ quite a bit smaller than Springer does, and it’s a lot easier to read Springer’s version. I won’t paste the PDF of a scan here to reduce bandwidth, but as near as I can measure,
> if the radicand is the height of $k$ as a full 10 points, say, then for  $\LaTeX$ the $p$ gets 4.5 points, while for Springer it’s 6 points.
>
> I’ve looked for an answer and tried various hacks, to no avail. Anyone know a solution?
>
> Thanks for your time and thought.
>
> David Derbes

In the cases I've looked at, the p in the pth root of a radical uses \scriptscriptstyle, and that is usually set in the math sty file unless using the LaTeX default. So, that opens some options to change the size. Look in your math sty file for the definitions of
\defaultscriptratio
\defaultscriptscriptratio
and change them in your preamble after loading the math sty file so that the second one is increased. Try something like
\def\defaultscriptratio{0.8}
\def\defaultscriptscriptratio{0.65} % \scriptscriptstyle will be 65% of size of \displaystyle.

You could also change \DeclareMathSizes{}{}{}{}, but that takes a little more work to set up.

Another option, since you must be using amsmath, is to use its \text macro and use a matching text italic font, sized as you wish, to generate the p---something like \sqrt[\text{\textit{p}}]{k}.

Michael

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