TIP: Small Caps for Dorico

Dorico can’t use OpenType features like Small Caps, but I’ve hit upon a method of ‘faking’ Small Caps, which might be useful.

  1. Write your text all in caps.

  2. Create a Character Style that displays text at a fractional relative size:


  1. Apply the Character Style to the letters.


I suppose you could do it the other way round, making the initials larger than the standard size.

It won’t work for tokens, of course. So it’ll have to be an override.

I tried inserting the actual small caps glyphs from the font, using a font glyph picker, into the Project Info, but that doesn’t seem to work.


I don’t know if that is of any help, but I have written a Python script that takes some String, converts it into Small Caps with the Unicode values and copys it to the clipboard. You can insert this anywhere, also in the Project Info to use it as Token.

import xerox
def make_uchr(code: str):
    return chr(int(code.lstrip("U+").zfill(8), 16))
eingabe = "This Title Will be in Small Caps"
ausgabe = ""
for i in range(len(eingabe)):
    charzahl = (ord(eingabe[i]))
    if charzahl == 228 or charzahl == 164:
        ausgabe = ausgabe + make_uchr("U+f7e4")
    elif charzahl == 246 or charzahl == 182:
        ausgabe = ausgabe + make_uchr("U+f7f6")
    elif charzahl == 252 or charzahl == 188:
        ausgabe = ausgabe + make_uchr("U+f7fc")
    elif charzahl == 376:
        ausgabe = ausgabe + make_uchr("U+00df")
    elif charzahl == 195:
    elif charzahl >= 97 and charzahl <= 122:
        ausgabe = ausgabe + make_uchr(f"U+f7{hex(charzahl)[2:]}")
        ausgabe = ausgabe + eingabe[i]

(this specific Unicode-Conversions only work with Minion Pro)

Yes, there’s no guarantee that small caps will be at a specific code-point.

The alternative, for use in tokens, would be to use a font that has Small Caps for the lowercase. Many old PostScript Type 1 fonts had these variants back in the old days.

FR: support OpenType features please Dorico!

[From the super-ultra-nerd typography expert point of view, small caps are not just smaller caps. The outlines are subtly different generally, in the same way italic is not just slanted (far more extreme difference of course). Bit for small chunks of text in music most people would never be able to tell.]


It’s not that the Dorico developers don’t want to implement it, it’s Qt-Framework that doesn’t support it :-/ From my limited understanding, nothing will change in that regard with the new Qt version as it still won’t support OpenType

I use Equity Caps A that comes with the Equity collection. But granted, I have to switch the font when it’s in the middle of “normal” sized text (to describe a character for instance) and it’s a long process…

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Aha. A Qt restriction. May never be added. It’s a crying shame that Dorico is hampered in this way, especially one of the key features of Dorico is to support fine quality music engraving, in which also, to the more fussy amongst us (and I know there are quite a few) typographic matters have some importance along with fine layout and music setting.

Drat! Belay that FR.


Of course. However, it wouldn’t be too difficult to knock up a Small Caps variant for Academico. (You’d have to give it another name, under the terms of the SIL licence.)


Excellent idea.

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Acapsemico ?

Capademico :sunglasses:

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Academicaps :wink:


I normally use Small Caps (for instance for composer’s names) since Dorico 1. Simply have Trajan Pro, regular and bold installed. But many other fonts are even better…

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I know you didn’t ask, but your line leading at the top there is way too tight!


I would have set the dedication in Italics and the title in Roman – Small Caps or otherwise.

But yes, Titling fonts, such as Charlemagne, Sava Pro, Serlio LT, Trajan, Waters Titling Pro, etc, all use small caps by default. As does Copperplate Gothic. Or if you wanted to go mad, Desdemona, ITC Anna, Peignot, etc.

True! :smiley:
As I wrote there are better fonts… My original setting for the leading line was small caps italics, but I didn’t got the font and the reconstruction is even worse…

I have created Small Caps Regular and Bold variants for Nepomuk, so just changing the style of the font from “Regular” to “SmallCaps” will create small caps.

Screenshot 14

I’ve actually swapped the lowercase and the Small Caps glyphs in the variants, so if you use the Small Caps font in Affinity Publisher, turning on Small Caps will restore lowercase! Not sure why I did that, but seemed to have a certain symmetry.


There is a tremendous little program called “OpenType Feature Freezer” available at https://twardoch.github.io/fonttools-opentype-feature-freezer/ which I’ve used to get around this exact problem. My first solution was to create my custom “SC” versions of typefaces by copying glyphs around in FontForge, but after engraving a piece with a French title, I realized there were going to be glyphs I’d miss, like letters with diacritical marks, or things I didn’t even know a typeface might include, like custom dashes or dollar signs. OTFF gets them all. It even has automatic re-naming functions built in, though I could never get that to work the way I wanted, so I still do the TrueType and PostScript naming manually, in FontForge. But I can’t recommend OTFF highly enough.

Anybody get really picky and also seek out petite-caps alternates as well as small-caps? That’s something I’d love to see every designer include. Ah well — someday!

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