[XeTeX] small caps in Apple Pages vs XeLaTeX

Mark Dancer mark.david.dancer at gmail.com
Sun Nov 18 09:34:36 CET 2007


On 18 Nov 2007, at 3:21, Berteun Damman wrote:

> On Nov 17, 2007 5:50 PM, Faisal Moledina  
> <faisal.moledina at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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?
> My guess is Pages is faking them. It will convert your text to all
> caps and shrink these by, say, 70%.

There's an easy way to confirm this.

Open Apple's Font Book application. Select Georgia from the font  
list, then choose Preview->Repetoire. Scroll through the preview and  
you'll see that Georgia has just the basic character set (compare it  
to Hoefler Text, for example, where you'll find the small caps about  
half-way down the preview).

So yes, Pages is faking the small caps.

There are three problems with this. As has already been mentioned,  
the strokes on the faked small caps are too light, true small caps  
visually match the normal caps in weight. The second issue is that  
true small caps are wider than the faked ones (aids legibility). The  
third is that true small caps are tracked slightly wider than the  
faked caps (again, for legibility).

When I needed fake small caps in Stone Serif for a corporate logo, I  
used the semibold weight at about 70% scaling (which visually matched  
the weight), stretched it horizontally about 5% (enough to give the  
extra width, but not enough to be for the distortion to the letter  
forms to be easily detected), and tracked the letters apart a little  
bit--a lot of effort but the final result looked right.

Mark Dancer
mark.dancer at pobox.com

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