small caps

Use real small caps; avoid fakes

Small caps are short cap­i­tal let­ters designed to blend with low­er­case text. They’re usu­ally slightly taller than low­er­case let­ters. (Small caps are used in this book to denote cross-references.)

I’m a big fan of small caps. They look great and they’re very use­ful as an alter­na­tive to bold or italic or all caps.

But most peo­ple have never seen real small caps. They’ve only seen the ersatz small caps that word proces­sors gen­er­ate when small-cap for­mat­ting is used.

Small-cap for­mat­ting works by scal­ing down reg­u­lar caps. But com­pared to the other char­ac­ters in the font, the fake small caps that result are too tall, and their ver­ti­cal strokes are too light. The color and height of real small caps have been cal­i­brated to blend well with the nor­mal upper­case and low­er­case let­ters.