I have been trying to fake small caps which are not available in Myriad Pro. So I used the Scale and FakeBold options. Scaling is allright, but as you all know the glyphs slim out. To work against that I tried to "fatten" them somewhat.

The code below does not "fatten" the scaled characters when using lualatex (latest TeX-Live). Using xelatex (also latest TeX-Live) works fine.

I think its a bug.

\setmainfont{TeX Gyre Heros}
ABC {\fontspec[FakeBold=5,Scale=0.72]{TeX Gyre Heros} ABC} ABC

For demonstration the code above uses another fontwich actually supports small caps.

  • 1
    I can only confirm the behavior.
    – egreg
    Nov 9, 2011 at 23:41

1 Answer 1


LuaTeX does not support emboldening, so FakeBold will not work. fontspec should issue a warning here.

It might be possible to implement emboldening in lua, say in luaotfload package, but I didn't investigate closely.

Here is a work around using pdf literals (which is essentially what XeTeX does behind the scenes).

    \pdfliteral direct {2 Tr #1 w}%
    \pdfliteral direct {0 Tr 0 w}%
ABC \embolden{0.5}{ABC} ABC

This even works with pdftex.

(Note, when you use Scale=0.72, the FakeBold will be 5*0.72, so you might want to use 0.36 instead of 0.5)

With the advent of LuaTeX 0.95.0 the \pdf... primitives have been moved to the unified \pdfextension interface. The above code does not work anymore and has to be modified to reflect these changes.

    \pdfextension literal direct {2 Tr #1 w}%
    \pdfextension literal direct {0 Tr 0 w}%
ABC \embolden{0.5}{ABC} ABC

Alternatively one could define \pdfliteral as devised in the LuaTeX manual:

\protected\def\pdfliteral{\pdfextension literal}
  • Works fine, twiddling with Scale and "enbolden" I get an fake "small caps" thats close enough to the real thing. Nov 10, 2011 at 21:50
  • Hm when trying this I can easily twiddle up the "enbolden" factor up to very thick but I can not get it low enough. Even when I set it to 0.0 it comes out too black for me. Both in print and on screen it still looks like ink blobs to me. I suppose the technique used is not very compatible with my font...
    – jonalv
    Jul 25, 2013 at 15:12
  • This is 4 yars old question..Lualatex supports fakeslant..does it support fakebold now? i tryied and with no succes..maybe my lualatex engine is too old? Dec 25, 2015 at 23:00
  • 1
    @LevanShoshiashvili: Per Henri Menke’s comment here: tex.stackexchange.com/q/397480/75284 the fakebold in LuaTeX will come eventually, but not soon.
    – lblb
    Apr 20, 2018 at 7:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .