I notice that beamer has everything in sans-serif by default, including math. In a regular article, simply using \sffamily doesn't cause math to be set in sans-serif. Using \renewcommand{\familydefault}{\sfdefault} doesn't work and the sansmath package sort of works, but seems to produce varying results with respect to whether letters are italic or not (e.g., in beamer \Gamma is not italicized, but with sansmath it is.)

Is there one "right" way to do this?

Edit: another problem is that \sansmath seems to turn \beta into "fi".


2 Answers 2


There are not many real sans serif math fonts. You can try


that has math symbol fonts, except for the "large symbols". Perhaps decent results can be obtained by loading the Iwona font:


enter image description here

A different approach could be with the Arev fonts; changing the preamble above into


you'd get the following

enter image description here

You find an extensive description of (free) math fonts at this address


  • Is it possible to switch to cmbright or some other font for a certain portion of the document and then switch back?
    – jtbandes
    Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 21:51
  • See this question: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/33165/…
    – egreg
    Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 21:54
  • That solution is helpful, but when I try it the uppercase Greek letters are not sans-serif... any ideas why?
    – jtbandes
    Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 22:09
  • This happens when using mathpazo only.
    – jtbandes
    Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 22:18
  • 3
    The survey by Stephen Hartke is a bit dated. There is a more extensive survey by Günter Milde (2008, 2010) milde.users.sourceforge.net/Matheschriften/matheschriften.xhtml (Freie Mathematikschriften für LaTeX). In german, though (but see the links at the bottom of the document).
    – user4686
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 12:19

For me (with font set to \usepackage{helvet}), the packages mathastext and isomath did the job to get a consistent appearance (text in mathmode in same style as default text):

% 'isomath' sets upper case greek letters italic in accordance with 
% the International Standard ISO 80000-2

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