Smallcaps

I might be wrong, but so far Scrivener doesn’t recognize the smallcaps previously set in Word; nor have I found the “smallcaps” option in the text menu. Is it possible to have smallcaps in Scrivener or is it a limitation of RTF formatting? Of course I can set all my smallcaps in the final formatting process, out of Scrivener, but it would be very useful to do it from the begining.

Small caps are actually a font thing (it has nothing to do with RTF). MS Word uses its own special set of fonts, as I understand it, whereas the rest of the system uses the Apple-provided ones. Only certain fonts support small caps in the text system - for instance, if you use Arno Pro (not that it’s a particularly nice font) and select “Typography” from the gear wheel menu of the font panel, you will see that you can set the font to use small caps. Most of the more common fonts - Times New Roman, Helvetica, Optima - sadly do not come with a small caps variation though. I suppose you may be able to buy variations with small-caps, but I’m not sure. But it’s certainly nothing I have any control over, I’m afraid. Implementing something like this would require enormous customisation of the given text system or writing my own - not something I can do as a one-man team.

All the best,
Keith

Word creates small caps on the fly by resizing the capital letters from the font. This can look ugly because the small caps created this way tend to be too thin after the resizing and out of proportion in other ways.

Scrivener – like other applications that use the OS X text system – allows access to real small caps if (and only if) they are there in the font. These small caps look right because they have been specially designed to work at that size harmoniously with the other characters in the font; but, as Keith says, not all versions of all fonts have them.
The way to get them is through the gear menu near the bottom right of the Fonts panel. Choose Typography… in the dropdown menu and then put a tick in the box for either ‘Small Capitals from Capitals’ or ‘Small Caps’. If neither of these options is showing then the font that is currently selected does not include small caps. Of the fonts that come with OS X, Hoefler Text is one that has them.

Since the two systems are different, small caps that are set in the OS X text system do not export to Word. (That’s not a limitation of rtf, really, but a limitation of Word.) So if you are going to export via rtf to Word then it’s not really worth setting small caps in Scrivener.

Thank you, guys. Now I understand it better. And now I also have one more reason to hate Word. :wink:

The real reason I need smallcaps is to be able to export them to InDesign, at the end. I have just opened Nisus and it does apply smallcaps, using more or less the same method as Word: making the caps smaller. InDesign is able to do this as well (and it recognizes both Word and Nisus smallcaps), but it also alouds to control the percentage of reduction; thus, it’s possible to obtain better results in typographic terms.

I don’t know why, but even though the old Adobe fonts were complete and included smallcaps fonts in their major families, the new Open Fonts don’t come with them. Smallcapitals are vital in publishing, therefore, I can’t give up on them just yet.

Anyway, if you ever consider including the smallcaps function in Scrivener and it can be exported to NisusWriter (not Word, I hate Word, I will never get tired of saying that), that’ll be welcomed. In the meantime, I’ll correct them in the formatted version, in Nisus Writer or InDesign, directly.

Thanks again!

Actually, after your request I took a look at how Nisus does it and yesterday added a similar Convert > To Small Caps feature for 2.0. All it does is leave uppercase letters as they are and convert lowercase letters to uppercase but at 3/4 the size. Obviously it’s one way, just as in Nisus, and would be a pain to convert back, but it’s okay for display purposes.

All the best,
Keith

There can’t be a more responsive software developer anywhere!

Some comments on Nisus Writer, Adobe fonts and small caps.

In Nisus Writer you can get real small caps the same way as in Scrivener – as explained in my previous post in this thread – because Nisus, like Scrivener, is based on the OS X text system. So in Nisus Writer you have a choice between Word-style faked small caps and the OS X text system’s access to real small caps. The former are accessed by clicking the small cap button in the ‘Character’ part of the palette. The later are accessed via the gear menu on the OS X typography panel (which you get to with Command-t ).

They do come with small caps but the way to get to them is different from in the old days of Postscript fonts. There are instructions on how to use them in Indesign here. You should also be able to use them in Scrivener (via the typography panel as explained above).