Comparing different ways for sans-serif math with LaTeX


Sans-serif fonts are better for figures. Various of ways to typeset LaTeX math in sans-serif font are compared. Based on the results, sansmathfonts is recommended for use.

Background #

Sans-serif fonts has a better readability when scaled down, and thus is the preferred font for figures in many journals.

However, it's not straightforward to typeset math formulas with in the figure, because using a simple \mathsf or \sf can be tricky and tedious. For example, \sf does not affect symbols inside in \mathbf{k}, and you have to use \boldsymbol{\sf k} to make k correctly displayed.

If you search on the web, you can find this heated Stack Overflow thread, where a dozen of different approaches are mentioned. But which one to choose, and why?

Results #

To compare the behavior of different approaches, I'm using the following equation for testing:

\sum abcDFZ\alpha \mu \omega \Gamma \Theta\\
\Psi=\operatorname{det} [

The results are shown below, and the red symbols are ones that are not rendered correctly.

Comparison results in light theme

Conclusion #

Just use sansmathfonts, it's simple and nice.

Code availability #

The code for reproducing the results are available at AllanChain/sans-math-compare.

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