[Tex/LaTex] Smaller fractions in displayed formulae


How do you make script-sized fractions in display mode?

In certain cases, I find that \frac-based fractions are too large for my tastes in displayed formulae. For example, I feel that the fractions here stand out way too much compared to the exponents:

standard display style

I can hack a workaround by writing things like \frac{_1}{^{24}}, but that seems like too much trouble. The result, however, does look more like what I want:

hacked display style

Alternatively, I can force text styling by writing things like {\textstyle\frac{1}{24}}. This feels cleaner to me, but I'm not sure it looks as readable as the earlier hacked version because the fractions are tighter vertically (great for text mode but a bit much for display mode).

display mode using textstyle

What would you do?


\[ \cos x = \sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{(-1)^n}{(2n)!} x^{2n}
= 1 - \frac{1}{2}x^2 + \frac{1}{24}x^4 - \frac{1}{720}x^6 + \cdots \]

\[ \cos x = \sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{(-1)^n}{(2n)!} x^{2n}
= 1 - \frac{_1}{^2}x^2 + \frac{_1}{^{24}}x^4 - \frac{_1}{^{720}}x^6 + \cdots \]

\[ \cos x = \sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{(-1)^n}{(2n)!} x^{2n}
= 1 - {\textstyle\frac{1}{2}}x^2 + {\textstyle\frac{1}{24}}x^4
- {\textstyle\frac{1}{720}}x^6 + \cdots \]


Best Answer

Use amsmath's \tfrac or \dfrac constructs to forcibly write a fraction in text or display style. In amsmath.sty, these macros are defined via \genfrac


with the token 0/1 setting the math style to \displaystyle/\textstyle (2 is for \scriptstyle; 3 is for \scriptscriptstyle, for what it's worth).

Here's a MWE:

enter image description here

\usepackage{amsmath}% http://ctan.org/pkg/amsmath
\cos x &= \sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{(-1)^n}{(2n)!} x^{2n}
= 1 - \frac{1}{2}x^2 + \frac{1}{24}x^4 - \frac{1}{720}x^6 + \dotsb\\[2\baselineskip]
\cos x &= \sum_{n=0}^\infty \dfrac{(-1)^n}{(2n)!} x^{2n}
= 1 - \dfrac{1}{2}x^2 + \dfrac{1}{24}x^4 - \dfrac{1}{720}x^6 + \dotsb \\[2\baselineskip]
\cos x &= \sum_{n=0}^\infty \tfrac{(-1)^n}{(2n)!} x^{2n}
= 1 - \tfrac{1}{2}x^2 + \tfrac{1}{24}x^4 - \tfrac{1}{720}x^6 + \dotsb