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Is it possible to tweak the amsbook-class such that the uppercase headings (e.g. Chapter 1) are changed to small caps?

Are there any "typographical objections" in doing so?

1

An etoolbox patch of \@makechapterhead (the macro responsible for setting the (numbered) chapter heading) is sufficient:

enter image description here

\documentclass{amsbook}% http://ctan.org/pkg/AMS-LaTeX
\usepackage{etoolbox}% http://ctan.org/pkg/etoolbox
\makeatletter
% Change case of chapter title
\patchcmd{\@makechapterhead}% <cmd>
  {\uppercase}% <search>
  {\scshape}% <replace>
  {}{}% <success><failure>
\makeatother
\begin{document}
\chapter{A chapter}
\end{document}

If you wish to change the chapter title (A chapter above) to small-caps from the default bold, use

\makeatletter
% Change formatting of chapter name
\patchcmd{\@makechapterhead}% <cmd>
  {\bfseries}% <search>
  {\scshape}% <replace>
  {}{}% <success><failure>
\makeatother

Of course, you can do both if needed:

enter image description here

To set the chapter name in small-caps and bold, you need a font that can manage both. For this, see Small Caps and Bold Face. Using bold-extra provides this font, but at a very low quality:

enter image description here

Perhaps a fake-small-caps-bold approach might work with the aid of contour:

enter image description here

\documentclass{amsbook}% http://ctan.org/pkg/AMS-LaTeX
\usepackage{etoolbox}% http://ctan.org/pkg/etoolbox
\usepackage[auto]{contour}% http://ctan.org/pkg/contour
\contourlength{0.01em}
\makeatletter
% Change case of chapter title
\patchcmd{\@makechapterhead}% <cmd>
  {\uppercase}% <search>
  {\scshape}% <replace>
  {}{}% <success><failure>
% Change formatting of chapter name
\patchcmd{\@makechapterhead}% <cmd>
  {\bfseries}% <search>
  {\scshape}% <replace>
  {}{}% <success><failure>
% Fake-bold chapter name
\patchcmd{\@makechapterhead}% <cmd>
  {#1}% <search>
  {\contour[100]{black}{#1}}% <replace>
  {}{}% <success><failure>
\begin{document}
\chapter{A chapter}
\section{A section}
\end{document}

See the contour package documentation for more options (I've used a 0.03em contour length, and 100 repetitions for a smooth finish).

There is no real typographical requirement here, just as long as the headings show some form of structure. Font shape/face/size all show this, and one shouldn't go too overboard. Also think about consistency across sectional units. If you're sticking to bold, say, just vary the size across the hierarchy.

  • Do you think that OP is talking about the chapter heading instead of the word chapter used in headers? – Sigur Jan 7 '14 at 21:02
  • @Sigur: I've added a reference to the chapter heading/title. – Werner Jan 7 '14 at 21:05
  • @Werner: Thank you. My Question was concerning the chapter head. But now I'm also thinking about changing the chapter title to small caps. Although when I use your second code snippet the chapter title is in small caps but not bold. In my opinion this is a little to thin, especially in comparison with the bold section headings. Is it possible to change the chapter title to bold small caps? Also consider the second part of my question (In my opinion the chapter heading in small caps does look for aesthetic.). – CraigPr Jan 7 '14 at 21:25
  • I have another tiny question: How do I also make the headline small caps? I tried to use "@makeheadline" but it did not seem to work. – CraigPr Jan 7 '14 at 21:47
  • @CraigPr: For that you would need the patch \patchcmd{\chapterrunhead}{\uppercasenonmath}{\scshape\@secondoftwo}{}{}. However, a quick fix is to call \chapter{\scshape A chapter} - this will also migrate to the ToC. – Werner Jan 7 '14 at 22:15

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