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Simplest way to typeset entire document in sans serif (Helvetica)

I use document class article and included


I now begin my document with

  \sf     % select sans-serif family
  % ... text here ...

Most text is indeed sans-serif. But fur example the footnotes and {\bf bold text} is not.

Let me summarize a test document:

  \sf  % select sans-serif family
  \title{Document title is sans-serif, fine}

  Normal Text is sans-serif, too.  % sans-serif, ok.

  {\bf This bold text should be sans-serif, too.} % bold, but roman!!!
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marked as duplicate by lockstep, barbara beeton, diabonas, Heiko Oberdiek, N.N. Sep 26 '12 at 19:47

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Avoid using \sf, \bf, etc. Use \textsf, \textbf, etc. instead. – ℝaphink Sep 26 '12 at 13:38
@Raphink: Ok, will do for the future. But this was not the issue here, neither did it help. – towi Sep 26 '12 at 14:17
up vote 6 down vote accepted

This assumes you have no math in your document.

\usepackage{helvet} % or \usepackage{tgheros}

%%% we want that the default font family is sans serif


This is sans serif; \textbf{this also} and this again.


Don't use the old two letter commands such as \sf or \bf.

share|improve this answer
I mean is there any way (or package) to put sans serif into maths? – Harish Kumar Sep 26 '12 at 13:44
@HarishKumar Not with Helvetica or clones thereof, if one wants a nice result. There are no (free) math fonts that accompany it. – egreg Sep 26 '12 at 13:44
Oh. very bad. :( – Harish Kumar Sep 26 '12 at 13:45
Very good. Luckily, no math here. If it there were, I'd like it to stay in roman anyway -- it just looks better. The constraints on the font family for the document are not mine, of course. Who would define a sans-serif font for a long text? Oh, I forgot to mention: It's supposed to be "Arial"... now you know where such directives are brewed up ;-) I don't mind, though -- those kitchens will not recognize the differences to Helvetica. – towi Sep 26 '12 at 14:23

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