## 1. Introduction

In this tutorial, we’ll describe how to scale an equation in LaTeX.

## 2. Why Scale an Equation?

LaTeX is a powerful text processor for creating high-quality and professional-looking documents. This tool makes writing easier and faster. **LaTeX is suitable for many things, including creating simple and complex equations and drawing high-resolution figures**.

Scaling down an equation means reducing its size, and scaling up means increasing it:

There are many benefits to scaling. First, scaling** up helps to highlight an important equation** by making it stand out to attract attention.

**Scaling down a long equation can adjust the spacing between it and the document’s margins. **For instance, if we have an equation longer than the horizontal margin:

we can scale it down to make every part of the equation visible and within the document width:

Lastly, we can scale up a small equation to improve its readability.

## 3. How to Scale an Equation?

To scale an equation in LaTeX, we use the *\resizebox* command:

`\resizebox{horizontal_length}{vertical_length}{custom_equation}`

It has several parameters:

*horizontal_length*is the desired width*vertical_length*is the desired height*custom_equation*is the equation we want to scale (it must be in an equation environment)

Both *horizontal_length* and *vertical_length* can be specified in inches or centimeters*. *If either *horizontal_length* or *vertical_length *is specified as !, then LaTeX uses the other argument to determine the scale factor.

### 3.1. Scaling With Absolute Values

For example, let’s start with this equation:

`\resizebox{2.1in}{0.1in}{f(x) = \ln(1+b) \sum_{i=1}^{x}a_i}`

Here, we knew the width and height for scaling the equation. However, we may sometimes know the absolute value of only one dimension.

### 3.2. Scaling With the Exclamation Point

In such cases, we want the other dimension to be scaled proportionally. So we set it to *!* in the *\resizebox* command to achieve that.

For example, setting *horizontal_length* to a numerical value (2.1 inches) and *vertical_length* to *! *gives us:

The scaling factor used for height is the ratio of the new and old widths.

### 3.3. Scaling Only One Dimension

In some cases, we want to change only width or only height. To do so, we instruct LaTeX to keep the other dimension the same by setting the corresponding argument to *\width* or *\height*.

For example, we can make our equation 2.1 inches wide while keeping the original height:

`\resizebox{2.1in}{\height}{f(x) = \ln(1+b) \sum_{i=1}^{x}a_i}`

The output is:

The original height was kept, and only the width was changed.

### 3.4. Scaling With *\textwidth*

`\resizebox{0.2\textwidth}{!}{$f(x) = \ln(1+b)\sum_{i=1}^{x}a_i$}`

This generates:

The result is that the equation is *0.5\textwidth *wide while its height is scaled proportionally.

Similarly, we can increase or scale up the equation to cover the horizontal length of the document. Setting *horizontal_length* as 1.0*\textwidth *and *vertical_length *as ! in the above code would generate:

The equation has the width of the text area, and its height is proportional to it.

## 4. Limitations of Scaling an Equation

Scaling has its benefits, but we should also consider its limitations.

**Scaling down an equation too much can reduce its readability,** making it difficult to see all the symbols. For instance, if we set *horizontal_length* as *0.05\textwidth*, the resulting equation will be too small:

**Scaling equations can also lead to a visual inconsistency in our document** if the horizontal and vertical lengths are not properly used:

Therefore, we should carefully set the parameters of *\resizebox* and use it only when necessary.

**Another limitation of scaling is incompatibility with some LaTeX packages. **Some LaTeX packages, including *amsmath *and *graphicx,* may have trouble with equations scaled using *\resizebox*.

## 5. Conclusion

In this article, we described how to scale an equation in LaTeX using *\resizebox*. Scaling down an equation is useful when we have limited space in a document. Scaling it up can improve its readability.