I used beton package, with \renewcommand{\bfdefault}{sbc} in accordance with next-to-last paragraph of https://texfaq.org/FAQ-concrete (for section titles and theorem heads, among other things).

Since I upgraded TeXlive, my bold substitution doesn't work. pdflatex says (for every usage of bold, about few hundreds of them):

LaTeX Font Warning: Font shape `T1/ccr/b/n' undefined
(Font)              using `T1/ccr/bx/n' instead

It's probably related to this question: What happened to \bfdefault and \bfseries in the newest TeX Live 2019? However, since I don't know even what the previous command was actually doing, and really did try to read latex-project.org/news/latex2e-news/ltnews31.pdf but found it completely impenetrable, I don't know how to fix this. Can anyone help me?

Here is a minimal (non)working example:


In previous TeXlive, I get no warning, and semibold a. In new TeXlive, I get a warning, and a bold a.

  • only if you show a complete example. May 18, 2020 at 11:16
  • Oh, sorry, I thought that the links would be enough to understand what's going on. A complete example is a book of 250 pages, I doubt you want to see that. :-) A minimal example is now given above. Thanks in advance!
    – Veky
    May 18, 2020 at 12:11

1 Answer 1


You can set the bold font like this:

a \textbf{a}

enter image description here

(But I'm not really convinced "that the Computer Modern Sans Serif demibold condensed fonts are an adequate substitute" as claimed by the faq.)

  • Not to mention that the main fonts are only available in bitmap form. In any case, a document in Concrete Roman should never use boldface.
    – egreg
    May 18, 2020 at 12:56
  • Very nice, and now it works in new TeXlive. However, it doesn't work in old (official) ones. :-/ Do I really need to do version sniffing in 2020? Is it so hard to have at least one version where both commands work?
    – Veky
    May 26, 2020 at 10:20
  • You can test if \DeclareFontSeriesDefault is defined and setup the code accordingly. Or you can use latexrelease to fall back to the old code. But I don't see how the code should be able to detect automatically that you want it to interpret your \renewcommand "as code in old style" May 26, 2020 at 10:26

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