[texhax] \over

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Sun Oct 26 15:22:38 CET 2003

Hello Robert,

On Sat, 25 Oct 2003, Robert Sherry wrote:

>     I have been using \over to represent fractions in my LaTeX documents. I
> have been finding that LaTeX is reducing the font size of the numerator and
> denominator.

That is correct for inline mathematics.
In displayed environments, there is no size reduction.

Before explaining the options that are available to you,
first let me say that, with LaTeX, you really should be using
the syntax:  \frac{a}{b}
rather than the \over command, which is a low-level TeX primitive called
by the higher-level \frac macro.

> ...  I am guessing it does this, so that it does not need two lines
> for something like a = b/c. Is there a way to turn this off? That is, I want
> the font size of b and c to be the same as the font size of a.

If you also load the {amsmath} package, then you can use
which creates a fraction with the sizes used in displays.
This is essentially the same as:
  \frac{\displaystyle a}{\displaystyle b}
  or  {\displaystyle a\over\displaystyle b}   (in plain TeX)

Similarly the {amsmath} package has a  \tfrac command, which is
equivalent to:
or  {\textstyle{... \over ... }}

If the \dfrac construction  creates too much space, then you can try

  \frac{\textstyle a}{\textstyle b}
or {\textstyle a \over \textstyle b}

which gets the font-size correct but uses less vertical space
between the numerator/denominator and the fraction-bar.
In practice, this does not always look nice.
It depends very much on just what expressions appear above and below
the fraction-bar.

Hope this helps,

	Ross Moore

>     I hope my question is clear and I thank the group for the many fine
> responses  I have received from my previous posts.
>                                  Robert Sherry
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