[XeTeX] small caps in Apple Pages vs XeLaTeX

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Sat Nov 17 18:57:35 CET 2007

Le 17 nov. 07 à 17:50, Faisal Moledina a écrit :

> I'm getting back into TeX after a number of months hiatus. I'm stuck
> on something quite elementary. Why is it that I can chose small caps
> in Apple Pages for a font like Georgia and can't select for
> Letters=SmallCaps in fontspec? If I run the AAT-info.tex for Georgia,
> I get that there are no features. Why is it that it works in Pages
> then?

Pages probably creates fake small caps, by using caps from a smaller  
font size. For example, using caps from 10 pt size as small caps in 12  
pt size.

Standard LaTeX does this for PostScript fonts, based on virtual fonts.  
Fontinst includes facilities for this; see section II of /Library/TeX/ 
fontinstallationguide.pdf (since you seem to be on the Mac). However,  
this requires preliminary creation of metrics, virtual fonts, dvips  
and pdfTeX map files, PostScript version of Georgia (which the OS X  
license probably prohibits), and so forth. This is far from the ease  
of use of XeTeX.

Beware, too, that such fake small caps (also called mechanical small  
caps) do not have the quality of small caps designed specifically by  
the font designer (also called optical small caps). In particular, in  
a fake small caps font, the small caps letters will appear a bit too  
light and too narrow compared with the caps letters.

See the appended screenshot from Pages, displaying successively Lucida  
Bright, Lucida Bright fake small caps (as offered by Pages) and Lucida  
Bright actual small caps (from the Lucida Bright Smallcaps font  
purchased years ago from Blue Sky Research).

This is similar in this respect to the fake italics (obtained by  
slanting upright letters) and fake bold (obtained by printing several  
copies of the same letter, slightly shifted) offered by MS Word 2004;  
try with Symbol, for example, which only exists in upright normal  

As I'm finishing this message I see the answer by Berteun Damman,  
pointing out fontspec facilities for creating fake small caps. Much  
simpler than the painful fontinst route! Oh well... I'm posting this  

Bruno Voisin

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