1

How can I select Helvetica with condensed width correctly for the entire document?

Approach 1

To do so I am using the helvet package and set:

\renewcommand{\familydefault}{\sfdefault}
\renewcommand{\seriesdefault}{c}

The following MWE gives different results on different systems.

\documentclass{scrartcl}
%\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{helvet}
\usepackage{lipsum}

\renewcommand{\familydefault}{\sfdefault}
\renewcommand{\seriesdefault}{c}
%\renewcommand{\bfdefault}{bc}

\author{Author}
\title{Title}

\begin{document}
\maketitle

\section{Section}
\lipsum

\end{document}

On my local machine (TL2019) the output is as I would expect, on Overleaf (TL2019) text and title fonts still have the standard width.

Overleaf log:

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.20 (TeX Live 2019) (preloaded format=pdflatex 2019.12.13)  13 MAY 2020 12:59
entering extended mode
 \write18 enabled.
 %&-line parsing enabled.
**Stadtgeographie.tex
(/compile/Stadtgeographie.tex
LaTeX2e <2019-10-01> patch level 3
(/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/koma-script/scrartcl.cls
Document Class: scrartcl 2019/12/23 v3.28 KOMA-Script document class (article)
(/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/koma-script/scrkbase.sty
Package: scrkbase 2019/12/23 v3.28 KOMA-Script package (KOMA-Script-dependent b
asics and keyval usage)
(/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/koma-script/scrbase.sty
Package: scrbase 2019/12/23 v3.28 KOMA-Script package (KOMA-Script-independent 
basics and keyval usage)
(/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/graphics/keyval.sty
Package: keyval 2014/10/28 v1.15 key=value parser (DPC)
\KV@toks@=\toks14
) (/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/koma-script/scrlfile.sty
Package: scrlfile 2019/12/23 v3.28 KOMA-Script package (loading files)
))) (/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/koma-script/tocbasic.sty
Package: tocbasic 2019/12/23 v3.28 KOMA-Script package (handling toc-files)
\scr@dte@tocline@numberwidth=\skip41
\scr@dte@tocline@numbox=\box27
)
Package tocbasic Info: omitting babel extension for `toc'
(tocbasic)             because of feature `nobabel' available
(tocbasic)             for `toc' on input line 137.
Class scrartcl Info: File `scrsize11pt.clo' used instead of
(scrartcl)           file `scrsize11.clo' to setup font sizes on input line 221
1.
(/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/koma-script/scrsize11pt.clo
File: scrsize11pt.clo 2019/12/23 v3.28 KOMA-Script font size class option (11pt
)
) (/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/koma-script/typearea.sty
Package: typearea 2019/12/23 v3.28 KOMA-Script package (type area)
\ta@bcor=\skip42
\ta@div=\count80
\ta@hblk=\skip43
\ta@vblk=\skip44
\ta@temp=\skip45
\footheight=\skip46
Package typearea Info: These are the values describing the layout:
(typearea)             DIV  = 10
(typearea)             BCOR = 0.0pt
(typearea)             \paperwidth      = 597.50793pt
(typearea)              \textwidth      = 418.25555pt
(typearea)              DIV departure   = -6%
(typearea)              \evensidemargin = 17.3562pt
(typearea)              \oddsidemargin  = 17.3562pt
(typearea)             \paperheight     = 845.04694pt
(typearea)              \textheight     = 595.80026pt
(typearea)              \topmargin      = -25.16531pt
(typearea)              \headheight     = 17.0pt
(typearea)              \headsep        = 20.40001pt
(typearea)              \topskip        = 11.0pt
(typearea)              \footskip       = 47.6pt
(typearea)              \baselineskip   = 13.6pt
(typearea)              on input line 1718.
)
\c@part=\count81
\c@section=\count82
\c@subsection=\count83
\c@subsubsection=\count84
\c@paragraph=\count85
\c@subparagraph=\count86
\scr@dte@section@maxnumwidth=\skip47
Class scrartcl Info: using compatibility default `runin=bysign'
(scrartcl)           for `\section on input line 4722.
Class scrartcl Info: using compatibility default `afterindent=bysign'
(scrartcl)           for `\section on input line 4722.
\scr@dte@part@maxnumwidth=\skip48
Class scrartcl Info: using compatibility default `afterindent=false'
(scrartcl)           for `\part on input line 4730.
\scr@dte@subsection@maxnumwidth=\skip49
Class scrartcl Info: using compatibility default `runin=bysign'
(scrartcl)           for `\subsection on input line 4740.
Class scrartcl Info: using compatibility default `afterindent=bysign'
(scrartcl)           for `\subsection on input line 4740.
\scr@dte@subsubsection@maxnumwidth=\skip50
Class scrartcl Info: using compatibility default `runin=bysign'
(scrartcl)           for `\subsubsection on input line 4750.
Class scrartcl Info: using compatibility default `afterindent=bysign'
(scrartcl)           for `\subsubsection on input line 4750.
\scr@dte@paragraph@maxnumwidth=\skip51
Class scrartcl Info: using compatibility default `runin=bysign'
(scrartcl)           for `\paragraph on input line 4760.
Class scrartcl Info: using compatibility default `afterindent=bysign'
(scrartcl)           for `\paragraph on input line 4760.
\scr@dte@subparagraph@maxnumwidth=\skip52
Class scrartcl Info: using compatibility default `runin=bysign'
(scrartcl)           for `\subparagraph on input line 4770.
Class scrartcl Info: using compatibility default `afterindent=bysign'
(scrartcl)           for `\subparagraph on input line 4770.
\abovecaptionskip=\skip53
\belowcaptionskip=\skip54
\c@pti@nb@sid@b@x=\box28
Package tocbasic Info: omitting babel extension for `lof'
(tocbasic)             because of feature `nobabel' available
(tocbasic)             for `lof' on input line 6001.
\scr@dte@figure@maxnumwidth=\skip55
\c@figure=\count87
Package tocbasic Info: omitting babel extension for `lot'
(tocbasic)             because of feature `nobabel' available
(tocbasic)             for `lot' on input line 6013.
\scr@dte@table@maxnumwidth=\skip56
\c@table=\count88
Class scrartcl Info: Redefining `\numberline' on input line 6177.
\bibindent=\dimen102
) (/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/psnfss/helvet.sty
Package: helvet 2005/04/12 PSNFSS-v9.2a (WaS) 
) (/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/lipsum/lipsum.sty (/usr/local/t
exlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/l3kernel/expl3.sty
Package: expl3 2019-11-07 L3 programming layer (loader) 
(/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/l3kernel/expl3-code.tex
Package: expl3 2019-11-07 L3 programming layer (code)
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\c_zero_skip=\skip57
\c_max_skip=\skip58
\l_tmpa_skip=\skip59
\l_tmpb_skip=\skip60
\g_tmpa_skip=\skip61
\g_tmpb_skip=\skip62
\c_zero_muskip=\muskip10
\c_max_muskip=\muskip11
\l_tmpa_muskip=\muskip12
\l_tmpb_muskip=\muskip13
\g_tmpa_muskip=\muskip14
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\l_keys_choice_int=\count103
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\c__fp_big_middle_shift_int=\count110
\c__fp_big_trailing_shift_int=\count111
\c__fp_Bigg_leading_shift_int=\count112
\c__fp_Bigg_middle_shift_int=\count113
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\l__sort_B_int=\count127
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\c__str_replacement_char_int=\count130
\l__tl_analysis_normal_int=\count131
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\l__tl_analysis_nesting_int=\count133
\l__tl_analysis_type_int=\count134
\l__regex_internal_a_int=\count135
\l__regex_internal_b_int=\count136
\l__regex_internal_c_int=\count137
\l__regex_balance_int=\count138
\l__regex_group_level_int=\count139
\l__regex_mode_int=\count140
\c__regex_cs_in_class_mode_int=\count141
\c__regex_cs_mode_int=\count142
\l__regex_catcodes_int=\count143
\l__regex_default_catcodes_int=\count144
\c__regex_catcode_D_int=\count145
\c__regex_catcode_S_int=\count146
\c__regex_catcode_L_int=\count147
\c__regex_catcode_O_int=\count148
\c__regex_catcode_A_int=\count149
\c__regex_all_catcodes_int=\count150
\l__regex_show_lines_int=\count151
\l__regex_min_state_int=\count152
\l__regex_max_state_int=\count153
\l__regex_left_state_int=\count154
\l__regex_right_state_int=\count155
\l__regex_capturing_group_int=\count156
\l__regex_min_pos_int=\count157
\l__regex_max_pos_int=\count158
\l__regex_curr_pos_int=\count159
\l__regex_start_pos_int=\count160
\l__regex_success_pos_int=\count161
\l__regex_curr_char_int=\count162
\l__regex_curr_catcode_int=\count163
\l__regex_last_char_int=\count164
\l__regex_case_changed_char_int=\count165
\l__regex_curr_state_int=\count166
\l__regex_step_int=\count167
\l__regex_min_active_int=\count168
\l__regex_max_active_int=\count169
\l__regex_replacement_csnames_int=\count170
\l__regex_match_count_int=\count171
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(/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/l3kernel/l3deprecation.def
File: l3deprecation.def 2019-04-06 v L3 Deprecated functions
)) (/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/l3backend/l3backend-pdfmode.de
f
File: l3backend-pdfmode.def 2019-04-06 L3 backend support: PDF mode
\l__kernel_color_stack_int=\count176
\l__pdf_internal_box=\box47
)) (/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/l3packages/xparse/xparse.sty
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)
Package: lipsum 2019/01/02 v2.2 150 paragraphs of Lorem Ipsum dummy text
(/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/lipsum/lipsum.ltd.tex
File: lipsum.ltd.tex 2019/01/02 v2.2 The Lorem ipsum dummy text
)) (/compile/output.aux)
\openout1 = `output.aux'.

LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OML/cmm/m/it on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for T1/cmr/m/n on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OT1/cmr/m/n on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OMS/cmsy/m/n on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OMX/cmex/m/n on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for U/cmr/m/n on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    Trying to load font information for OT1+phv on input line 1
4.
(/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/psnfss/ot1phv.fd
File: ot1phv.fd 2001/06/04 scalable font definitions for OT1/phv.
)

LaTeX Font Warning: Font shape `OT1/phv/c/n' undefined
(Font)              using `OT1/phv/m/n' instead on input line 14.

Package scrbase Info: activating english \contentsname on input line 14.
Package scrbase Info: activating english \listfigurename on input line 14.
Package scrbase Info: activating english \listtablename on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    Font shape `OT1/phv/bx/n' in size <10.95> not available
(Font)              Font shape `OT1/phv/b/n' tried instead on input line 16.
LaTeX Font Info:    Font shape `OT1/phv/bx/n' in size <20.74> not available
(Font)              Font shape `OT1/phv/b/n' tried instead on input line 16.
LaTeX Font Info:    External font `cmex10' loaded for size
(Font)              <14.4> on input line 16.
LaTeX Font Info:    External font `cmex10' loaded for size
(Font)              <7> on input line 16.
LaTeX Font Info:    Font shape `OT1/phv/bx/n' in size <14.4> not available
(Font)              Font shape `OT1/phv/b/n' tried instead on input line 17.
[1


{/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-var/fonts/map/pdftex/updmap/pdftex.map}] [2] (/c
ompile/output.aux)

LaTeX Font Warning: Some font shapes were not available, defaults substituted.

 ) 
Here is how much of TeX's memory you used:
 13078 strings out of 492164
 266380 string characters out of 6125314
 666680 words of memory out of 5000000
 17463 multiletter control sequences out of 15000+600000
 540873 words of font info for 37 fonts, out of 8000000 for 9000
 1141 hyphenation exceptions out of 8191
 46i,6n,78p,10110b,317s stack positions out of 5000i,500n,10000p,200000b,80000s
{/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/fonts/enc/dvips/base/8r.enc}</usr/local/t
exlive/2019/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/urw/helvetic/uhvb8a.pfb></usr/local/texlive/
2019/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/urw/helvetic/uhvr8a.pfb>
Output written on /compile/output.pdf (2 pages, 18065 bytes).
PDF statistics:
 20 PDF objects out of 1000 (max. 8388607)
 13 compressed objects within 1 object stream
 0 named destinations out of 1000 (max. 500000)
 1 words of extra memory for PDF output out of 10000 (max. 10000000)

Approach 2

On Overleaf setting

\renewcommand{\seriesdefault}{mc}
\renewcommand{\bfdefault}{bc}

works. But this gives the wrong font width for section titles on my local machine. The log lists warnings about the series choice mc:

LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OML/cmm/m/it on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OMS/cmsy/m/n on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OT1/cmr/m/n on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for T1/cmr/m/n on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for TS1/cmr/m/n on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OMX/cmex/m/n on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for U/cmr/m/n on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 14.
LaTeX Font Info:    Trying to load font information for OT1+phv on input line 1
4.
 (/usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/psnfss/ot1phv.fd
File: ot1phv.fd 2001/06/04 scalable font definitions for OT1/phv.


LaTeX Warning: Font shape declaration has incorrect series value `mc'.
               It should not contain an `m'! Please correct it.
               Found on input line 21.


LaTeX Warning: Font shape declaration has incorrect series value `mc'.
               It should not contain an `m'! Please correct it.
               Found on input line 24.


LaTeX Warning: Font shape declaration has incorrect series value `mc'.
               It should not contain an `m'! Please correct it.
               Found on input line 27.


LaTeX Warning: Font shape declaration has incorrect series value `mc'.
               It should not contain an `m'! Please correct it.
               Found on input line 47.

I tried the article class too and ended with similar problems.

4
  • I hope you have excellent reasons for using a condensed sans serif font for the whole document. From a typographical point of view it's just wrong...
    – DG'
    May 13, 2020 at 12:40
  • 1
    It is for a document which is required to be written in Arial Narrow. I would not chose a condensed sans serif font either.
    – luki
    May 13, 2020 at 12:57
  • I don’t use Overleaf, is there a way to access the log file when using it? That would likely point to what the problem is. Taking a guess, it sounds like Helvetica Condensed is not available — that the actual font is not installed and so it is defaulting to plain Helvetica.
    – ddbrierton
    May 13, 2020 at 12:58
  • 1
    @ddbrierton I think you're right. There's the following warning: LaTeX Font Warning: Font shape `OT1/phv/c/n' undefined (Font) using `OT1/phv/m/n' instead on input line 14.
    – luki
    May 13, 2020 at 13:03

1 Answer 1

1

Are you free to use either XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX instead of pdfLaTeX? If so, the following solution, which employs the fontspec package and its \setmainfont macro, may be of interest to you. (The test program uses Arial and Arial Narrow mainly because I don't have Helvetica Condensed on my computer.)

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\newcommand\qbf{The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.}
\newcommand\test{\qbf\par\textbf{\qbf}\par\textit{\qbf}\par\textit{\textbf{\qbf}}}
\begin{document}
\setmainfont{Arial}
\test

\medskip
\setmainfont{Arial Narrow}
\test
\end{document}
1
  • Yes, I can use XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX instead. This works fine, thanks!
    – luki
    May 13, 2020 at 13:55

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