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I would like to change the standard level of "boldness" with an helvet-like package to get something very similar to the default medium style of the helvetica neue font in a mac.

I have tried with the helvet package, using \renewcommand\bfdefault{sb} and \renewcommand\bfdefault{m} (following a solution proposed in an old post here in this forum). However, I have got something which is too light for me.

Is there any other alternative solution I can try?

  • This depends very much on the actual font used as a helvetica (quasi-)clone. Can you tell us which it is? – Bernard Nov 19 '16 at 23:28
  • Can you link to that old post and give us the code you are currently using as a complete minimal example? – cfr Nov 20 '16 at 1:44
  • @Bernard I think that the font I am trying to replicate is installed by default in any mac (it is simply called helvetica neue). – merch Nov 20 '16 at 2:03
  • @cfr this is the post I was talking about tex.stackexchange.com/questions/27843/… – merch Nov 20 '16 at 2:03
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    If you want to stick to a traditional TeX engine (TeX or pdfTeX) then see tug.dk/FontCatalogue/sansseriffonts.html. If you want to use system fonts, you can do so with XeTeX or LuaTeX and fontspec. – cfr Nov 20 '16 at 3:23
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helvet loads Adobe's version of Helvetica or, more likely, URW's, if Adobe's isn't available. The family name is phv.

Another similar option is TeX Gyre Heros, qhv.

However, none of these offer semi-bold. The series available are: medium condensed, medium, bold condensed and bold. Medium is just regular - what you get without switching to bold.

Here's a demonstration of the series. Obviously, you would not usually select fonts this way in a document, but it works for demonstration purposes.

demo of Helvetica and Heros

Here's a comparison with HelveticaNeue:

comparison with HelveticaNeue

\documentclass[a4paper]{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[scale=.9]{geometry}
\newcommand\this[2]{%
  \normalfont\noindent#2:\par
  \sffamily
  \fontseries{#1}\selectfont
  \noindent
  Querulous squirrels waved merrily\textbullet
  Sphinx of black quartz\textbullet
  Flabbergasted eagles juxtaposed eyesores readily\par
}
\begin{document}
\renewcommand\sfdefault{qhv}
\noindent\texttt{\bfseries qhv:}\par
\this{c}{Medium Condensed}
\this{m}{Medium}
\this{bc}{Bold Condensed}
\this{b}{Bold}

\renewcommand\sfdefault{phv}
\noindent\texttt{\bfseries phv:}\par
\this{mc}{Medium Condensed}
\this{m}{Medium}
\this{bc}{Bold Condensed}
\this{b}{Bold}

\end{document}
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Thank you all for your help. At the end, I managed to get exactly what I wanted, using:

\usepackage{fontspec}
\setsansfont{Helvetica Neue}[
BoldFont=Helvetica Neue Medium,
]

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