11 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2015 10:27 PM by Willi Adelberger

    Problem converting small caps between print and ebook versions

    hammack

      I am using InDesign to product both print and electronic versions of book. I would like to keep -- as best as possible! -- one master document that I exported as needed for print or ebook. My problem is this: The electronic forms don't support small caps, so any small caps exported from the InDesign retain the capitalization as in the print document. The problem arises because ALL letters in a small cap section of a print book must be lower case if using small caps -- if used right after the drop cap at the head of a chapter, for example. Thus the line "the greatest achievement of Roosevelt is ..." would be written in the print version as "the greatest achievement of roosevelt is" ...  Of course, on export to electronic format the small caps dissappear, but NOW one would like "roosevelt" to be capitalized. Is there anyway around this; e.g., can the caps in the small caps format be made to be the same size as the lower case small caps? Is there a way to tag for alternate or conditional text? (The latter is less satisfactory.)

        • 1. Re: Problem converting small caps between print and ebook versions
          Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          For us to help you, it would be helpful if you could tell us what version of InDesign you're using. Also, when you say "ebook version," do you mean EPUB export? PDF export?

          • 2. Re: Problem converting small caps between print and ebook versions
            hammack Level 1

            Sorry: CS5.5 and both .epub and .mobi .... pdf is no problem.

            • 3. Re: Problem converting small caps between print and ebook versions
              Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              It works for me in InDesign CC if I apply the small caps using a character style. It's been too long for me to remember the various bugs and workarounds I had to use in InDesign CS5.5.

               

              Here is the text formatted with a small caps character style (it's Minion Pro, an OpenType font with built-in small caps):

               

              InDesignScreenSnapz001.jpg

               

              Here's the EPUB previewed in iBooks on the Mac (using Mavericks, yeah!):

               

              iBooksScreenSnapz001.jpg

              • 4. Re: Problem converting small caps between print and ebook versions
                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                The problem arises because ALL letters in a small cap section of a print book must be lower case if using small caps --

                 

                You could edit the CSS style created for the small cap character style in the epub package. Something like this creates a faux small cap where everything is made upper case but at a percentage to match the x-height

                 

                 

                .smallcap {

                    font-size: 87%;

                    text-transform: uppercase;

                    letter-spacing: 2px;

                }

                • 5. Re: Problem converting small caps between print and ebook versions
                  hammack Level 1

                  Steve: Thx for the answer, although it appears I did not explain the problem well. In my print book your line ". . . is an Indian state located ..." would have no caps in it: The line should be all small caps, no capitalization -- note your cap on "Indian". (The first K would be a drop cap.) Of course, to do this one has to make everything lowercase. On exporting for kindle *.mobi and some *.epub devicers (iBooks is a bit better than most) the small caps won't appear and so one ends up with all lower case. The only way around this is to re-edit the book before export restorting the capitalization. It would be nice if InDesign could show something like "... is an Indian state ..." with all lowercase small caps, although the "I" is still capitalized in the "underlying" text. This also presents a problem when using small caps for abbreviations like NASA throughout the book.

                  • 6. Re: Problem converting small caps between print and ebook versions
                    hammack Level 1

                    Rob: I may be missing something here, but as I noted to Steve in the post before yours the line must be all lower case in InDesign to display the small caps correctly. Thus, your proposed solution would not work ... if I understand it correctly! (I do like the idea of changing the ePub file if possible: That can be done globally. I often have to unzip an epub and make changes to meet the standards for certain readers. One could write a script to make changes globally.) Bill

                    • 7. Re: Problem converting small caps between print and ebook versions
                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      the line must be all lower case in InDesign to display the small caps correctly.

                       

                      Don't do a lot of epub work and was assuming the CSS property text-transform is included in the epub specs, but it looks like it's not universally supported.

                       

                      In regular HTML/CSS you can transform text to all lowercase or uppercase, so if you can embed a true small cap font it would be: text-transform: lowercase. If not you can make a fake small cap via text-transform: uppercase; font-size: 90%;

                      • 8. Re: Problem converting small caps between print and ebook versions
                        [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                        Rob Day wrote:

                         

                        the line must be all lower case in InDesign to display the small caps correctly.

                         

                        Don't do a lot of epub work and was assuming the CSS property text-transform is included in the epub specs, but it looks like it's not universally supported.

                         

                        Virtually nothing using CSS is 'universally supported'. As one of the better ePub readers, iBooks (on the iPad) supports text-transform, but not the one property that would have made it into my "!important" list: 'text-break-before/after/inside: avoid". Even though this is in "the specification" (http://www.idpf.org/epub/20/spec/OPS_2.0.1_draft.htm#Section3.0) and text-transform is not.

                         

                        Bottom line: if you want to be sure readers are seeing caps in your eBook, better TYPE IT IN CAPS.

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Problem converting small caps between print and ebook versions
                          hammack Level 1

                          I solved the problem in this way: In our books we never use small caps UPPER CASE, so I fired up fontforge and made a modified small cap version of my typeface's small cap font. I changed all the uppercase letters to be the same as the lower case one. Thus I can have any combination of upper case letters in my print version and none will show as upper case, yet when exported to a format that does not support small caps (or even emulate them) the upper and lower case will be correct.  (It is a judgement call, btw, whether you should or should not have small cap "caps" ... I've seen both choices from major publishers and book designers.)

                          • 10. Re: Problem converting small caps between print and ebook versions
                            matthewm42

                            Hey hammack,

                             

                            I'm running into exactly the same problem that you did.  Precisely, in fact.  Someone actually suggested modifying my fonts to map full-caps code-points to small-caps glyphs, as you did (which I can, with FontForge) but the font EULAs that I have don't really permit this.  In fact, you could say that they explicitly forbid this.

                             

                            Is there a way that you handled this?

                             

                            Thanks,

                            Matt

                            • 11. Re: Problem converting small caps between print and ebook versions
                              Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                              CS5.5 was the first version with EPUB support. Things have changed dramatically until the latest version. If you want to work with EPUB I strongly recommend to upgrade to a CC subscription. Otherwise it is not possible to export reliable EPUBs.