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I see many posts in how to changes the font and font size, but none for changing the default font for a document to bold font. I believe this is called changing the font series. The approach in http://www.forkosh.com/pstex/latexcommands.htm (obtained by random Googling) looks like it should work, but doesn't do anything when I stick it in the preamble. Maybe I'm putting it in the wrong place.


There is also some discussion here.

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

You could redefine \seriesdefault in your document preamble:


\bfdefault means the value bx by default, as font parameter, you also could have used this in the redefinition directly.


So, with bx as the default, either way, the default weight of the document font is like if you would have written\bfseries for some text. But with the redefinition above, every time \normalfont is called, bold weight is used. Also already at the start of the document.

Note, you still could switch to normal weight by \mdshape or \textmd. If you would like to prevent normal weight at all, you could redefine normal weight commands. It would be a bit strange, but you could decide that, such as by:


which would turn text even after using\mdseries to bold.

To the code in your question:

  • It doesn't work because you used m (medium) instead of bx (bold extended). This would have worked:

  • Even then it would just work where you placed it in the text, not as default. The next call of \normalfont, which could even be implicit, would remove the effect of these commands. That's also the reason why it does not seem to work if you placed it in the preamble, since \begin{document} causes switching back to default font.

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Thanks. Not sure what you mean by "\bfdefault means bx by default, you also could have used this in the redefinition directly". What is "bx"? And this goes in the preamble, right? –  Faheem Mitha Jan 20 '12 at 17:55
You mean you could write \renewcommand{\seriesdefault}{bx} instead? BTW, would you care to remark on why the method in the link above doesn't work? –  Faheem Mitha Jan 20 '12 at 18:05
@FaheemMitha Yes - I extended my answer. bx is like a simple text value for the argument, meaning a font parameter. And I explained why the original code doesn't work as expected. –  Stefan Kottwitz Jan 20 '12 at 18:11
Did you mean to write \fontseries{bx}\selectfont at the end? And I meant that the listed command changed nothing at all, just as an example. I just tried \fontseries{bx}\selectfont and it didn't work either. –  Faheem Mitha Jan 20 '12 at 18:16
@FaheemMitha Yes, \fontseries{bx}\selectfont. Id didn't work, because you used it in the preamble. \begin{document} causes switching back to default font. Also appended to the answer now. –  Stefan Kottwitz Jan 20 '12 at 18:22
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