Small Caps in Word 2010

Explorer ,
Mar 20, 2010 Mar 20, 2010

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Word 2010 Beta represents a step forward in typographical features. It allows one to select between old style figures and lining figures, automatic substituion of ligatures, choice of style sets, etc., when using OpenType fonts. It does not, however, seem to have an easy way of selecting true small caps. With many of my Adobe fonts--those that came with my purchases of Design Suite CS3 and CS4--one can select the small cap glyphs, one by one, from Word's Symbol panel (the equivalent of InDesign's Glyph panel). While not ideal, that is doable since small caps are commonly used for acronyms, but not for large sections of text.

With Adobe Caslon and Arno, however, the small caps are not encoded into the Private Use Area of the fonts and seem not to be accessible at all in Word. One work-around for Adobe Caslon might be to find an old Adobe Caslon TT or Type 1 small caps font, but it appears that Adobe never released any TT or Type 1 fonts for Arno.

Arno is one of my favorite fonts. I'd like to use it as my regular choice for business correspondence, but I'd also like to be able to use the true small fonts. Is there any way of accessing Arno's small caps in Word?

John Hoffman

P.S. Include Brioso Pro with CS5 and you'll make a sale to me.

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 28, 2010 Mar 28, 2010

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John,

If Word 2010 does not access the font's OpenType small caps feature, then the answer is no, you won't be able to get the true small cap glyphs.

Arno Pro and other more recent Adobe font releases do not use PUA encodings. We currently believe that assigning PUA codepoints to small cap (and other alternate) glyphs is not a good practice.

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Explorer ,
Mar 28, 2010 Mar 28, 2010

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Thanks for the response, Miguel.

Just out of curiosity, what is the thinking behind no longer assigning PUA

codepoints to small caps?

Also, do you know offhand which Adobe fonts, other than Arno and Adobe

Caslon, do not have PUA codeponts for small caps?

Thanks very much.

John

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 29, 2010 Mar 29, 2010

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Using PUA-encoded glyphs breaks the semantics of the text; the words can no longer be spell-checked, and they might turn to gibberish or notdefs (rectangular boxes with a cross) if you switch to another font.

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Explorer ,
Mar 29, 2010 Mar 29, 2010

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Thanks very much for the explanation, Miguel.

It is surprising that MS did not include small caps in the OpenType features

they added to Word 2010. I'd think small caps would. be wanted at least as

much as automatic ligature substitution. For the time being, I'll use fake

small caps if needed in Arno, or use a font that uses PUA for the small

caps.

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New Here ,
Oct 30, 2010 Oct 30, 2010

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I just got a copy of Word 2011 (Mac). For some reason they support stylistic variants but not small caps. However if you have a font editor that can edit Opentype, it's pretty easy to copy the small caps feature and rename the copy to stylistic variant N, where N is either not used by the font one a feature you don't care about.

It seems pretty odd for them to support stylistic variants, but omit small caps, as I'm pretty sure sure caps are used more often.

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Explorer ,
Oct 30, 2010 Oct 30, 2010

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Thanks for the info and suggestion, Charles. Word 2010 (for PC) supports

OpenType as you say Word 2011 (Mac) does.

Thomas Phinney posted a likely explanation somewhere to the effect that

substituting small caps could lead to anomalous results if the font does not

have a small cap for a particular glyph, e.g., many non-English accented

letters. He posited that the Office team's thinking might have been that

while users of InDesign, Quark, and MS Publisher would be sophisticated

enough to deal with the problem, large numbers of Word users might not be.

Your suggestion as to how to modify fonts by putting small caps in as

sylistic variant N is helpful, but unfortunately, I don't have or know how

to use a font editor.

It is too bad that there is no repository of fonts modified as you suggest.

I guess the problem, though, is that there would be no way to restrict

access to those owning a licensed copy of the font in question, and

providing copies to all would violate copyright laws.

Hopefully, MS will include true small caps in the next versions of Word.

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New Here ,
Oct 30, 2010 Oct 30, 2010

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I'll look into doing a converter. I have an existing program that will take an opentype font and change the character table to move the small caps into the position of the normal letters. But this produces a second small caps font. It should be a lot easier to make this change.

Finney's theory is interesting, but I doubt it's that well-considered.

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