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This is the document:

\documentclass{article}
\renewcommand\familydefault{\sfdefault}
\renewcommand\sfdefault{phv}
\normalfont
\begin{document}
The jacket costs \pounds{}50.
\end{document}

I see a dollar sign in italic. Why? How to fix?

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You have a typo in your code: \end{end} should probably be \end{document} ;) –  Tomas Lycken Nov 17 '10 at 16:34
    
@Tomas Thanks, fixed :) –  yegor256 Nov 17 '10 at 16:43
1  
Since when are phv (Helvetica/Nimbus Sans L) and Verdana the same? –  frabjous Nov 17 '10 at 19:28
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2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Well that's one of the reasons not to use OT1-encoding. As there is not enough space pound and dollar share a glyph position. In the cm-fonts the dollar is e.g. in the slshape variant and the pound in italic. With helvet (phv is not verdana) this can't work as there is no specific italic font.

To fix it, use \usepackage[T1]{fontenc}.

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It's probably not a "good" fix, but a quick fix is to output the pounds symbol in a roman font instead:

\textrm{\pounds{}}50

gives the expected results (unless you're extremely picky about the font of the pounds symbol...)

Since you don't want to do this every time you need this symbol in the document, you probably want to store this in a macro:

\newcommand\rmpounds{\textrm{\pounds{}}

and then you use \rmpounds instead of \pounds everywhere.

(There's probably a nice way to hide this away in a package so you can use \pounds and get the same results as I do with \rmpounds, i.e. not forcing you to use a different command, but I can't figure out how to do it without getting capacity exceeded errors...)

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I'd not consider wanting to use pound symbol from the same text font "extremely picky"; it is like using an "A" from CM in text set in Helvetica. –  Khaled Hosny Nov 18 '10 at 0:30
    
You might want to have a look here to figure out how to do it without getting capacity exceeded errors. –  Hendrik Vogt Nov 18 '10 at 9:26
    
@Khaled Hosny: Well, extremely picky was probably an exaggeration, but since the pound symbol is not a standard letter (like A), but just a "symbol", setting it in a different font makes a lot less difference than to do the same thing for other characters. But I do admit that it's not an ideal solution (thus the remark in the answer). –  Tomas Lycken Nov 19 '10 at 16:02
    
@Hendrik: Thanks! I learn something every day =) –  Tomas Lycken Nov 19 '10 at 16:02
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