Backward Small Caps

I’ve been having this problem for a long time now. Every time I think I have it figured out, I don’t. I can see in the changelog that it says this bug was fixed with 2.6, but it is still very much a problem for me. I’ve delete and remade the documents since it was an import. No help. I’ve tried converting to small caps. I’ve tried setting small caps in compile. Each of these things worked at one time or another, but today, nothing is working. Since it’s been an issue I’ve had for a while, I’m pretty much over it.

Please help.

What is the premise of the problem, are you talking about arbitrary text in a paragraph, like a proper noun? Or are these titles in the editor? When you say that you set it in compile, what does that mean? Where are you setting it? Usually that would be in the Formatting pane when generating titles—but then I don’t see how you’d be doing anything in the editor if the titles don’t exist in the editor. Are you using a small caps font or are you using the “fake small caps” that simulate a font by changing the respective sizes of the individual letters?

Maybe it would just be easiest to send us an example project, with the problematic areas highlighted in the editor, and a description of how we should compile and what to look for.

I’d like to join this thread, as my previous one rolled off the screen (yes, I admit, I was probably too wordy…) :blush:

I don’t know if I’m having the exact same problem midian is having, but here’s my version: I can’t seem to get Scrivener to compile any form of small capped word (an arbitrary word in an arbitrary text) no matter how I do it.

I’ve tried a. Scrivener’s own “convert to small caps” command, b. selecting a word then using the font menu+cogwheel to make it actual small caps, and even c. copying and pasting from another program.
None of the options seem compilable into a PDF file, but always replaced with uppercase letters (a.) or lowercase (b. and c.).

Would love to know how to get this to work! Thanks,


Assuming you’re using a font that supports true small caps (and hence that’s not the root of the problem), have you tried to mark the text with “Preserve formatting?” Does that help in any way?

Aha! That was a hidden little gem! :slight_smile:

I do use a font with built-in caps — so this works as a work-around.

However, I like to work in the editor with a different font and size than the one I’m compiling to, so this means I will need to both change the small-cap words into the “final” font and then have them “preserved”.
Ideally, I must say I think small caps should be just passed-through as their true small cap glyphs — not sure why they aren’t. But this works for now!


Yes, that’s the compromise you have to deal with by the current implementation.

I don’t know, really. AFAIK this has to do with some Mac OS/OpenType limitations, as AmberV responded to you on the other thread.

Small Caps are a world on their own regarding typography. It’s not just the height, but the width, the kerning and whatnot. So if you really want to enforce them, I guess the only way to go is using the aforementioned wordaround. :neutral_face:

I think I horrayed to soon…

Not sure what I did that fooled me into thinking it worked — now I can’t seem to make small caps appear in a compiled PDF even if I use preserve formatting. Thought I did when I tried it after the posts above, but I must have seen what I wanted to see — or this is all kind of flakey and works sometimes and sometimes not.

Starting to fear, though, that what’s being said in the other thread is a more absolute truth than I thought — small caps really can’t be preserved (when compiling to PDF at least) no matter how they’re inserted in the text. Right?
Do I understand that correctly (KB, AmberV) so that I should stop spending time on that and try to do some actual writing instead…? :stuck_out_tongue:

Will eagerly await the new version…! :slight_smile:


Did you check out your other thread on this? I answered to that and explained everything there a couple of days ago. :slight_smile:

It works for me. I did a small test with several cases. See the attached PNG for how it looks on the editor and the PDF for results after compile.

Small Caps test.pdf (212 KB)

First of all, let me apologize to everyone for not being here sooner. I did not receive any notifications that I had replies. :frowning: I only just now received an email regarding a PM on this thread that was apparently sent on Jan 17th. So to all, I’m sorry. I haven’t read the thread yet, but I will do so right now.

I’ve tried using preserve formatting with no luck. It’s in both titles and documents. I’ve tried setting it in editor (it’s not always a true small cap), and I’ve tried setting the fake small caps in the editor. I’ve tried changing the font. It happens when I compile in both PDF and ebooks. I saw a thread at one point that said the problem was related to copying and pasting or importing, so I made new docs with no luck.

I think you’re probably right that I should just send you a file and tell you how I compile to see if you can replicate the problem. I’ll have to make a sample file to send to you so it might not be until tomorrow, but I’ll get on it tonight.

Thanks, AmberV!

Yeah, that might be best, as it sounds like there are a lot of factors going on. I’ve tried all kinds of settings in an attempt to get the large capitals smaller than the small capitals, and haven’t found the magic trick to doing so. I’ve seen screenshots of it though, so I know it exists, just not how. :confused:

Very weird that it would happen in PDF though.

Do you want me to post the Scrivener project used to generate the above PNG and PDF?

That’s okay, I can see how you got to the result of the PDF, using with the examples you’ve posted, I was requesting the sample from the OP.

Okay, so I made a test file. I took oodles of pictures for pdf and epub.

Looks like PDF, when it errors, goes to uppercase, but for the most part, seems to be okay. Preserve formatting seems to work with it.

Ebooks not so much. Everything goes to backwards small caps if I set small caps in compile or in the document text.

I have pics of different combinations from compiling with the title and small caps, with text in small caps, to no title, text manually in small caps (set font sizes myself, no conversion button), and more.

I can send you the pics, configurations, and the file. I can also send you a plist for my compile settings if you’d like. Just let me know what you want and where to send it. :smiley:


Yes, that would make sense (and for ePub too for that matter), because when it doesn’t work it is because of override formatting, which is removing the size differences between the letters. This convert button trick is done by changing the font size (so it’s really just a macro for doing it yourself). Thus, when the font size is all equalised by the compiler, everything ends up the same size, and you see the small caps for what they are, regular capitals.

This is how Preserve Formatting works, it makes the compiler ignore the text for override purposes, and the sizes stay correct. You just have to make sure they all have the blue box, if they are in the text. I’m not sure if it would be better to just use no override at that point. If there are a lot of these, it would probably be easier to just keep your formatting correct in the editor and leave the override off. It’s up to you though, either way should work.

It is the ePub result with the sizes inverted that is the one I’d like to see an example of. If you are going to send the project file, there’s no need to send the compile settings separately. So just select the project and the pictures, right-click in Finder and compress them. The archive file you’ll see appear is what you need to send in.

Send to our main support address, and reference this thread URL.

Many thanks!

I did, and thank you. :smiley: That’s where I concluded there basically was no way to solve it.

But then there’s this:

And this is where I get confused: I HAVE in fact managed to get the desired result using case #3 — write the word using the actual output font in the editor, then use typography>small caps, then preserve formatting — which, as far as I understand from your answer (Keith) shouldn’t really be possible? :open_mouth:
Now the even more weird thing about this is that it seems to be hit-and-miss for me: sometimes I manage to get a perfect PDF using this method, and sometimes not. I have no idea what’s going on here — haven’t even closed-and-opened Scrivener between successful and unsuccessful compiling attempts, so I can’t for the life of me understand what’s changed…

I’ll play around some more — after all, procrastinating is writing, too.
Or… um… wait… :slight_smile:

No, that will be possible, because in that situation, the text from the editor is not being touched. The problem only arrises when the text in the editor is overridden, because the storage methods used by the Compile settings lose the small caps in the Compile formatting. So the small caps get lost as soon as you change the font or formatting in a Compile override - “Preserve Formatting” avoids that.

As I say, though, all of this should be solved in a future version (although much, much later in the year), with the introduction of Styles and fixes in Compile (which is being completely overhauled).

All the best,

Keith, may we expect some sort of backwards compatibility when this feature is added? I mean, if I define a style named “Small Caps” today and apply it to some text within the documents, when the new version gets released, will I be able to edit that style and have it applied automatically to all occurrences of this? Or shall I need to redefine a new style and apply it manually?

That’s not possible, because 2.x has no concept of styles. 2.x just “pastes” formatting onto text with its presets, but the text has no knowledge of it - presets in 2.x are just a collection of formatting that get applied in the same way as if you went through and added bold, underline and so on. In Scrivener-future-version, true styles get applied to the text, so ranges of text “know” that they are of a particular style (if a style has been assigned), and so can be updated (when the style is changed) or overridden during Compile.