Bug in Indesign CS4 Character Styles All Small Caps?

So I was using my Williams Caslon font to set a book, and decided to use the "all small caps" option. This was to access the (ahem) very cool feature of special small caps figures and parens, to create discrete citations for display quotes.

I tried at first setting up a "character style" to do this, as in that dialogue box you have the option of choosing "open type all small caps". But when I saw the result, I freaked out, because the numbers were too small, and there was no kerning to the colon, and it looked a wreck.

Had I hallucinated doing all that sizing and kerning of small cap figures? Then the penny dropped: fake small caps. InDesign wasn't using the small caps figures or the kerning in the font, but creating awful fake ones, with no kerning. When I formatted the citations directly using the fly-out open type panel, choosing "all small caps," and everything looked good, with all the kerning. Relief.

But it ought to be possible to create a character style that uses real "all small caps." Is the problem of the "character styles" creating fake small caps for "all small caps" a bug in Indesign CS4? Is it corrected in CS5?

Christopher Slye's picture

I can't reproduce this. Exactly what font (including version, if possible) is doing this? Have you tried it with other fonts?

William Berkson's picture

Thanks for checking this Christopher. This is my Williams Caslon, forthcoming from Font Bureau. They are "mastering," it now, if that's the right word. There might be something wrong with my Open Type code, though if so I don't know why it should work when going directly to the "all small caps" option in Open Type. I'll ask them to check it out.

kentlew's picture

Bill — Unfortunately, I don’t have CS 4 to check. Did you try a different font, as Christopher suggested? If the procedure works with another font, then I would suppose that the problem would indeed be with Wms Caslon, not the app.

But I took a quick peek under the hood and I don’t see anything obviously wrong in the {smcp} and {c2sc} features. Works in CS 3 as expected. But this is not my bailiwick, so I can talk to MR and DJR about it when WmsC comes on deck (there’s a few things in the queue ahead of it).

Can you send me a PDF of a page with the problem in place, so I can be sure I’m interpreting your description correctly?

k.l.'s picture

I do not have this effect with my fonts, using character styles for all small caps, and with fonts that have small caps numerals. Perhaps cleaning the font caches helps?

Arno Enslin's picture

@ William

If this would be a bug in Indesign CS4, it probably is already documented on Typophile, because it would be a fat bug.

I often wonder, why the people here, that have problems with their fonts, don’t destroy the outlines with one of the FontLab effect macros, remove the kerning and just post the vfb file, if the font is made with FontLab. And if it was made with a different program, the working files in the format of these programs would likewise ease the help.

William Berkson's picture

So now I have tried to reproduce the problem, after deleting my former "character style". This time when I set it up, it worked correctly for my font, as well as Benton Sans Black, which has all small caps. So perhaps I made an incorrect choice in the dialogue box the first time. I don't know because I deleted the style, and can't check now.

However, when I continue to type after the affected characters, which theoretically should continue the same style, I do get the fake small caps again. And I was able to reproduce this apparent bug using Benton Sans Black.

Here is an image with Williams Caslon:

On the right most numbers, you see the original full size bold italic. The others, starting on the left are bold and bold italic, with the "all small caps" applied either directly or as a character style. Then I continued typing the same sequence after the formatted characters, and got the fake small caps.

My experience seems to be 1. a mistake I made in setting up the dialogue box, which I can't reproduce immediately. 2. Also some kind of bug in Indesign CS4, though I don't know exactly its dimensions.

kentlew's picture

Bill — Do a couple things for me, please. Go into your Preferences and under the Advanced Type change the Small Caps percentage. That should affect your fake small caps; does it?

Second, highlight one of those fake small caps (just a figure, because it looks like parens aren’t being affected) and take a look at what’s being applied.

I'm guessing that the OT menu will show that All Small Caps is applied. Does it indicate that the relevant Character style is applied and is there an override (+) next to the name? Does it happen to indicate that the Small Caps styling is also perhaps applied on top of the OT All Small Caps? That would be a bug and might yield what we’re seeing.

Will you see if you can reproduce this behavior with letters as well as numbers?

Also, can you ascertain whether it is your SC figs or default lining figs that are being reduced by the faux percentage? (By setting the numbers and manually changing the size by the percentage to see which matches.)

Not sure what all these tests will tell us, but I’m just trying to gather more info since I can’t test this myself.

William Berkson's picture

Kent, nothing seems to affect those strange small figures, smaller than my small cap figures. I changed the preferences in Advanced Type, and it didn't affect them. Then I tried turning off the "all small caps" and it didn't affect them. They are labeled "default figures" in the open type menu, and even changing them to other figures doesn't do anything. The formatting seems stuck and locked.

Since I was able to replicate this problem with Benton Sans, I'm pretty sure that it's not a problem with my font, which is the main thing I was concerned about. And I can work around it in InDesign. Right now I'm under deadline to get the book rewritten after copy editing, and also lay it out and set it, so I'd rather let this issue go for now, and let others worry about it.

Thanks for your help!

ps. I will just try shutting down my computer and seeing whether when restarted it is still a problem. Just to eliminate that it's coming from my computer being 'on' too long.

kentlew's picture

Yeah, if it’s replicable in other fonts, then I think we can let WmsCaslon off the hook. It might be useful to understand what CS4 is doing, but I hear you about the deadlines.

I’ll be curious to find out if rebooting clears anything. Who knows? — a corrupted resource or something.

But otherwise, we’ll leave this for another time perhaps.

Christopher Slye's picture

Bill, can you send me (or post here) a precise, step-by-step method to reproduce this with Benton Sans? Some of the details of your description above are a little fuzzy. I'll check it out on my end here if I can...

William Berkson's picture

Ok, so I worked a little more on this. I rebooted, and opened up a new text box, in the same file, and both my font and Benton Sans works properly with the "all small caps" function. But in the old text box, the problems will happen as before.

Here's the complication that didn't occur to me until now. This file was originally done on Abobe InDesign ME, as it has both Hebrew and English, and then was opened in CS4. --The book is a commentary on a Jewish classic, the Ethics of the Fathers, and I have the Hebrew there along with a translation (done with an Israeli) and my commentary.

Some of the defaults buried in the text boxes are still InDesign ME defaults, and that is causing some weirdness here, I think.

I'm still using the Hebrew and English in the file and all is otherwise setting well. I have a feeling that this problem has arisen not because of either my font or InDesign CS4, but because of the importing of the original file from InDesign ME.

I have a feeling this is not supported and probably not worth bothering about. I just hope no other weirdness pops up.

I guess my only question at this point is whether I can scrub the file of weirdness from imported information, but I'm afraid that fixing what isn't otherwise broken is not smart.

Thanks to all for helping me to trouble shoot this.

Theunis de Jong's picture

William, try exporting the troubled document to IDML, then open that. Make sure you don't accidentally overwrite the original file, as IDML may have some, ah, 'artifacts', and just may be worse instead of better.
An Export to IDML purges the document from anything except the Bear Necessities required to rebuild the doc itself.

Synthview's picture

I’m designing an OTF font and I feel Indesign does not read properly the pos feature if inside c2sc (All Small Capitals)

A part of my code (first 2 lines do not work; others do):

pos @CaseShift <0 20 0 0>;
pos @UpperPunctuation <0 -200 0 0>;
sub @Liningnumbers by @S2scFigures;
sub zero.tf by zero.c2sc.tf;
sub one.tf by one.c2sc.tf;

I’ve checked my font with FeatureProof, an application made to check Opentype features , and my code works perfectly.
Anyone met this issue?
Any workaround that avoids duplicating an manually shifting glyphs?
Thank everyone in advance :)

kentlew's picture

Well, if you check the description for {c2sc} in the OpenType Layout tag Registry (http://www.microsoft.com/typography/otspec/features_ae.htm#c2sc) you’ll see that the Recommended Implementation is for GSUB lookup type 1.

So, I suppose no one should be surprised if an application’s implementation of this feature chooses to ignore any GPOS instructions.

Synthview's picture

Gosh, what a nonsense :(
In my mind c2sc is a bit like case.
How can I shift my punctation?

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