The title pretty much tells it: How to do bold small caps in conTeXt?

According to the wiki this should work:

\setff{smallcaps} Normal and \bf bold Small Caps.

But for me it doesn't. \setff seems to have no effect.

I found a note in the reference manual on page 127:

At the moment, smallcaps and oldstyle only work in XƎTEX (in MkIV, it would need an extra mode=node pair).

But then, redefining the smallcaps feature with


doesn't work either.

  • @PhelypeOleinik I believe he already posted a M(non-)WE.
    – Manuel
    Mar 7, 2018 at 15:49
  • 1
    Use a font that provides bold small caps. Please do not fake-bold the small caps, that looks just horrible. Mar 7, 2018 at 20:00

2 Answers 2


You can print an outline on top of the characters to simulate boldface. It looks a bit better with a small amount of stretch, although in both cases the end result is not very satisfactory. With the stretch you have to adjust spacing manually. See http://www.pragma-ade.nl/general/magazines/mag-0006-mkiv.pdf (section Font effects) for more options and examples.


\sc Normal and \starteffect[both]bold Small Caps\stopeffect.

\definehspace[large][1.3 em]
\sc Normal and \starteffect[both]bold Small Caps\stopeffect \hspace[large] and other text.


enter image description here


Using the Gauge font, here's one possible way:

\starttypescript [serif] [body]
  \definefontsynonym [Serif]       [name:times] [features=default]

\starttypescript [sans] [header]
  \definefontsynonym [SansCaps]      [name:gaugenormal] [features=default]
  \definefontsynonym [SansCapsBold]  [name:gaugebold]   [features=default]

\definetypeface[impact] [rm] [serif] [body]   [default]
\definetypeface[impact] [ss] [sans]  [header] [default]


\definefont[FontChapter][SansCapsBold sa \FontSizeChapter]
\definefont[FontSection][SansCaps sa \FontSizeSection]





  \startchapter[title=Chapter Title]
    \input ward

  \startsection[title=Section Title]
    \input knuth


Small Caps Output

Note that setff is deprecated. See also:

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