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I am typesetting a beamer presentation with the arev package (using plain old pdftex). By convention, some of the keywords in my presentation are usually typeset in small caps—which arev does not provide.

Any suggestions for a good font to use for small caps, that would fit in well with arev for the main body? (Bonus points for providing instructions for setting up that font!)

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  • Do you mean a sans serif font with smallcaps? There aren't so many, even in commercial fonts.
    – Bernard
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 21:17
  • Font designers I've talked tend to think sans serif ought not include small-caps because they are not appropriate. (I know MS's Calibri provides them but, well, maybe that's their point.) If this is just a few words, could you scale them down from capitals? Not to the height of lower case as they'll be too thin but maybe about 75% or so? This is not ideal at all but neither would substituting a small caps font from another family.
    – cfr
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 23:06

1 Answer 1

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This is more a case of food for thought, rather than a definitive resolution to your problem. As cfr points out, a case of font scaling may be the lesser of evils in comparison to using a combination of two distinct font families.

The point I wanted to raise, if you do opt for font scaling, is that I have found unequal scaling (different horizontal vs. vertical scaling) to provide a more pleasing look that better matches many of the small-cap features.

In my MWE, using computer modern, the top line is titling caps, the second line is true small caps. The third line gives uniformly scaled characters, whereas the fourth line, by comparison, uses unequal horizontal and vertical scaling. In my opinion, line 4 is preferable to line 3. This is just something for your consideration.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\begin{document}
ABC Titling Caps

\textsc{Abc} True Small Caps

A\scalebox{.75}{BC} 75\% Scaled Letters

A\scalebox{.83}[.75]{BC} 75\% vertical, 83\% horizontal scale

\end{document}

enter image description here

In arev, I think the stroke widths are more suitable with the uneven scaling, as well. I also tweaked the scale sizes a small bit.

enter image description here

If one decides to adopt such an approach, it can be turned into a macro \fauxsc{} (using the graphicx package):

\newcommand\fauxsc[1]{\fauxschelper#1\relax\relax}
\def\fauxschelper#1#2\relax{%
  \ifnum`#1>``\ifnum`#1<`\{\scalebox{.87}[.79]{\uppercase{#1}}\else#1\fi\else#1\fi%
  \ifx\relax#2\relax\else\fauxschelper#2\relax\fi}

which is called in the manner of \fauxsc{Abc}

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  • I like this but I'm less convinced by the arev case. I think I liked your first version better - these look too similar to the height of the capitals, I think. Especially for use in a beamer presentation. But maybe I'm wrong about that...
    – cfr
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 2:53
  • @cfr It is true that each font presents its own set of issues. Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 2:58

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