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When I try to do something like \section{Heading with \textsc{small caps}}, the compiler complains with "LaTeX Font Warning: Some font shapes were not available, defaults substituted." and replaces the small-caps with normal test.

Any suggestions on how to fix this?

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Which document class are you using? Are you loading any special font packages? The warning means that small caps are not available for the section font. You might try to use {\normalfont\scshape text} instead, but it might not look good. – Martin Scharrer May 9 '11 at 22:28
up vote 12 down vote accepted

The standard Computer Modern fonts don't contain bold small caps. You could use the CM-Super fonts instead; add to the preamble

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AFAIK, to use the CM-Super what you actually need to do is install cm-super, and you don't really need \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} to use cm-super AFAIK, although it's a good idea for other reasons, and with T1 fontenc the fonts being used are not CM fonts but actually EC fonts. (I may be wrong, please correct me.) – ShreevatsaR May 10 '11 at 6:42
@ShreevatsaR: my system (TeX Live2010) comes with cm-super installed. And \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} changes from cm to cm-super. I don't know what's the situation with other distributions (MiKTeX). – Gonzalo Medina May 10 '11 at 11:17
cm-super was not bundled with my distribution and the solution did not work for me. Says T1/cmss/bx/sc is undefined. – MaPePeR Jul 18 '13 at 12:24
It seems like CM-Super is not installed with my distribution either (MacTeX-2013, which includes the complete TeX Live 2013 distribution). When trying to use \textsc in a section header, I get a similar warning: Font shape 'T1/lmr/bx/sc' undefined. – Nagel Jun 7 '14 at 7:18

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