font liberation sans narrow, small capitals

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nabbler nabbler
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font liberation sans narrow, small capitals

Readers,

If a document font style is set to 'liberation sans narrow' and the
font effect 'small capitals' is applied (e.g. 'ABC'), there is no
visible change. It appears that the style of the font is capitals in a
smaller height, in which case this font effect is not necessary. Or,
the font effect cannot be applied to this style.

Opinions please, others?

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Virgil Arrington Virgil Arrington
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Re: font liberation sans narrow, small capitals

I just tried it with mine. Selecting "small caps" turns *lower case* letters
into small upper case letters. It does *not* change upper case letters into
smaller upper case letters.

This is normal behavior with LO (and other word processors). The program
takes your typed lower case letters and turns them into shrunken upper case
letters. Those of us who are OCD about typography are put off by this
manufactured imitation of true small caps. With the "fake" small caps, the
stroke weight is noticeably lighter and the letter spacing noticeably
tighter than with true small caps.

Some fonts (such as Linux Libertine G) come with "true" small caps, in which
the stroke weight will remain consistent with other letters and the letter
spacing will be preserved. Other OpenType fonts have true small caps, but
most programs (like LO) can't access them. They can be accessed by such
programs as LaTeX/XeTeX and Adobe InDesign.

Probably much more than you wanted by way of response, but I do *love*
typography.

Virgil

-----Original Message-----
From: e-letter
Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 3:50 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: [libreoffice-users] font liberation sans narrow, small capitals

Readers,

If a document font style is set to 'liberation sans narrow' and the
font effect 'small capitals' is applied (e.g. 'ABC'), there is no
visible change. It appears that the style of the font is capitals in a
smaller height, in which case this font effect is not necessary. Or,
the font effect cannot be applied to this style.

Opinions please, others?

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nabbler nabbler
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Re: font liberation sans narrow, small capitals

On 04/12/2013, Virgil Arrington <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I just tried it with mine. Selecting "small caps" turns *lower case* letters
> into small upper case letters. It does *not* change upper case letters into
> smaller upper case letters.
>

Yes, did not realise this behaviour, which is surprising. If a
document is written with many acronyms typed in upper case and it is
then decided to change to small capitals (better aesthetics!), the
text has to be converted to lower case and then to apply the font
effect. It's also surprising that small capitals is not an option
available the menu bar option 'change case'.

> This is normal behavior with LO (and other word processors). The program
> takes your typed lower case letters and turns them into shrunken upper case
> letters. Those of us who are OCD about typography are put off by this
> manufactured imitation of true small caps. With the "fake" small caps, the
> stroke weight is noticeably lighter and the letter spacing noticeably
> tighter than with true small caps.
>
> Some fonts (such as Linux Libertine G) come with "true" small caps, in which
> the stroke weight will remain consistent with other letters and the letter
> spacing will be preserved. Other OpenType fonts have true small caps, but
> most programs (like LO) can't access them. They can be accessed by such
> programs as LaTeX/XeTeX and Adobe InDesign.
>

True; how did you know libertine g is a font with true small caps? Is
there a list of such fonts somewhere?

Compared LaTeX small caps to LO (liberation sans narrow) and agree,
the "fake" small caps has noticeable lighter weight, making the
appearance poor. However the upper case size in liberation sans narrow
seems small, almost removing the need for small capitals in this font.

> Probably much more than you wanted by way of response, but I do *love*
> typography.
>

No, appreciated thanks!

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Virgil Arrington Virgil Arrington
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Re: font liberation sans narrow, small capitals

>True; how did you know libertine g is a font with true small caps? Is
>there a list of such fonts somewhere?

I discovered Libertine G during one of my obsessive Google searches for
typefaces with expert typographic features. (In fact, that's how I
discovered LaTeX. It was all because I wanted to use old style numbering.)

Libertine G was designed for use with the Graphite engine. There's a
Typography Toolbar extension for LO/AOO/OOo that makes the font's features
available from a GUI. I would note that with Libertine G, you can type in
ALL UPPERCASE, and then convert it to small caps later.

Here are links to the font, toolbar, and explanation for making it all work.

http://www.numbertext.org/linux/fontfeatures.pdf

http://www.numbertext.org/linux/

http://extensions.libreoffice.org/extension-center/typography-toolbar

**Note, that there is also a Libertine O variety of the font that does not
have all the cool features. You have to make sure you get the "G" version of
the Libertine fonts."

While I'm obsessed with typography, I'm no expert. I consider Libertine to
be a better version of Times. It seems to have the same general design, but
its letters aren't nearly as condensed, which is the biggest criticism of
Times. As Bringhurst says in "The Elements of Typographic Style," it's
better to use a font like Times and use it well, with expert effects, than
to use a wonderfully designed font and use it badly.

Virgil


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