In a LaTeX article, the math characters are more "curvy" than the text characters:

 $x^2 + y^2 = z^2$

article math

In a beamer presentation, the math characters do not have the same curves:

 $x^2 + y^2 = z^2$

beamer math


How can I get the beamer math to look just like the article math?

I would prefer if the solution was a single line (that I could place at the top of my LaTeX file) as opposed to something that needs to appear next to every piece of math.

  • 5
    Just a minor point: it is generally felt to be easier to read sans serif fonts when projected than serif fonts so the lack of curves is there for a reason. Nov 9 '11 at 21:37
  • 9
    @Andrew Sure, but I think that it is too difficult to tell the difference between what is text and what is math, especially when people are used to the mathserif font LaTeX articles but don't see that font on the slides. Nov 9 '11 at 21:45
  • 13
    Agreed. I wasn't saying Don't ever do this but rather This is there for a reason. People reading this question might not realise that there is a reason for this choice and decide to change their maths to serif simply because that's what they're used to. I happen to use colours to get round this problem so I'm in full agreement that it's good to do something to distinguish the maths from the text. Nov 10 '11 at 7:48
  • 1
    Something more complicated. The colour says what it is. On the basis that a picture paints a thousand words, you can take a look at my beamer slides at the following URL: mathsnotes.math.ntnu.no/mathsnotes/show/lecture+notes+2011 Nov 12 '11 at 18:51
  • 1
    @AndrewStacey, slightly off-topic, but do you find that the cyan projects well? I remember a colloquium with colour-coded equations, and the important bit was in green on white and nobody could read it, even in the front row.
    – Chris H
    Feb 20 '14 at 10:15

Add \usefonttheme[onlymath]{serif} to your preamble. That is,

\documentclass{beamer}% http://ctan.org/pkg/beamer
 $x^2 + y^2 = z^2$

For both text and math in Computer Modern, use the serif document class option. Other combination of font selection is also possible. See this link for a nicely compiled collection.

Older versions (prior to v3.33) supported the class option \documentclass[mathserif]{beamer}.

  • 8
    +1, although I don't recommend this option that makes math conflict with the overall aspect of the presentation.
    – egreg
    Nov 9 '11 at 21:39
  • 1
    @egreg, what do you mean by the "conflict with the overall aspect of the presentation". It works perfectly for me and looks great. May 22 '13 at 20:52
  • 4
    @Lex Mixing "serif math" with a sans serif text font is something I wouldn't even think to use.
    – egreg
    May 22 '13 at 20:54
  • 1
    IM(unqualified)O this can look smarter than the class between different sans serif fonts that often happens because there aren't many full maths sans serif options, and the body is set in something else.
    – Chris H
    Feb 20 '14 at 10:18
  • 1
    This class option is obsolete as of beamer v3.33. As recommended by the warning message, use \usefonttheme[onlymath]{serif} instead in the current version of beamer. Jul 25 '14 at 18:21

Alternatively, you can include


inside the



  • 3
    Actually this solution worked better for me: using the "serif" option does not properly replace the \nu-resembling "v" with the amsart curvy one.
    – Brightsun
    Mar 25 '15 at 11:16
  • 1
    You can also pass [professionalfonts] as an option to \documentclass.
    – Davislor
    Jul 27 '20 at 8:05

As @egreg commented, @Werner's answer might incur conflicts. Actually, Beamer supports for different fonts through the \documentclass.

In your case:


for all other combinations and styles along with the outputs please refer to this comprehensive document.

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