I have a blurb of text in an external macro \SomeText, which I want to typeset in sans serif. However, \sffamily\SomeText does not change the math font and \sffamily\mathsf{\SomeText} does not work, as I am not in math mode.

So how can I typeset material in sans serif, whether it does or does not include math stuff?


\newcommand{\SomeText}{This is some ($words \geq 5$) Text with math stuff in it: $a^2+b^2=c^2$}

    \item[Roman:] \SomeText
    \item[Sans:] {\sffamily \SomeText \\ (however, the math is still Roman)}

%    LaTeX Error: \mathsf allowed only in math mode
%    \item[AllSans:] {\sffamily\mathsf \SomeText}
  • Is all math stuff to be set in sans-serif, or just one small blurb? – Mico Jan 18 '12 at 15:49
  • @Mico: Only small blurbs. I do not want to change the math font globally, I just want sans serif math when \sffamily is active. – Daniel Jan 18 '12 at 15:51

Okay, I found a solution in embarrassingly short time after posting the question: The sansmath package provides the \sansmath command (and several environments) for this purpose.

I am yet curious to know if there is some solution that does not depend on an additional package.

\newcommand{\SomeText}{This is some text with math stuff in it. 
    $x>5$, $a^2+b^2=c^2$}

    \item[Roman:] \SomeText
    \item[Sans:] {\sffamily \SomeText \\ However, the math is still Roman.}
    \item[AllSans:] {\sffamily\sansmath \SomeText}
  • I was going to suggest you consider using the sansmath package! :-) – Mico Jan 18 '12 at 16:11
  • This solution does not work well because, for me, it replaces characters: . (dot) becomes ( (parenthesis) and comma a "plus minus" symbol. – lauhub Feb 15 '15 at 14:44

Have a look at Make mathfont respect the surrounding family. There you’ll find a solution to change the math alphabet and also to make the normal font switches (like \sffamily) change the math font too.

Taken from there:







\section{Inline-$m\alpha \tau h$}
Normal: A $Ax\alpha+\chi b$

\sffamily Sans: A $Ax\alpha+\chi b$

\bfseries Bold-Sans: A $ Ax\alpha+\chi b$

\normalfont Normal: A $ Ax\alpha+\chi b$

\bfseries  Bold: A $ Ax\alpha+\chi b$

\normalfont Normal: A $ Ax\alpha+\chi b$

Text in roman family
     \sqrt{(a_1+a_2+\gamma)^2}=\sum_{i=1}^2 a_i + \gamma

Text in sans family
    \sqrt{(a_1+a_2+\gamma)^2}=\sum_{i=1}^2 a_i + \gamma

Text in sans family, bold version
    \sqrt{(a_1+a_2+\gamma)^2}=\sum_{i=1}^2 a_i + \gamma

Text in roman family, bold version
    \sqrt{(a_1+a_2+\gamma)^2}=\sum_{i=1}^2 a_i + \gamma


  • Thanks Tobi. For some reasons I did not find this question, which comes close to an exact duplicate. – Daniel Jan 18 '12 at 16:35

An addition to @Tobi's excellent answer, if you need to use helvetica for the Sans serif fonts:


(taken from sansmathfonts.sty from the sansmathfonts package). This then blends in with text that is typesetted with \fontfamily{phv}\selectfont\mdseries (remember to still use \sffamily for the maths)


enter image description here

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