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font-variant-caps

The font-variant-caps CSS property controls the use of alternate glyphs for capital letters.

When a given font includes capital letter glyphs of multiple different sizes, this property selects the most appropriate ones. If petite capital glyphs are not available, they are rendered using small capital glyphs. If these are not present, the browser synthesizes them from the uppercase glyphs.

Fonts sometimes include special glyphs for various caseless characters (such as punctuation marks) to better match the capitalized characters around them. However, small capital glyphs are never synthesized for caseless characters.

Language-specific rules

This property accounts for language-specific case mapping rules. For example:

  • In Turkic languages, such as Turkish (tr), Azerbaijani (az), Crimean Tatar (crh), Volga Tatar (tt), and Bashkir (ba), there are two kinds of i (one with the dot, one without) and two case pairings: i/İ and ı/I.
  • In German (de), the ß may become (U+1E9E) in uppercase.
  • In Greek (el), vowels lose their accent when the whole word is in uppercase (ά/Α), except for the disjunctive eta (ή/Ή). Also, diphthongs with an accent on the first vowel lose the accent and gain a diacritic on the second vowel (άι/ΑΪ).

Syntax

/* Keyword values */
font-variant-caps: normal;
font-variant-caps: small-caps;
font-variant-caps: all-small-caps;
font-variant-caps: petite-caps;
font-variant-caps: all-petite-caps;
font-variant-caps: unicase;
font-variant-caps: titling-caps;

/* Global values */
font-variant-caps: inherit;
font-variant-caps: initial;
font-variant-caps: unset;

The font-variant-caps property is specified using a single keyword value from the list below. In each case, if the font doesn't support the OpenType value, then it synthesizes the glyphs.

Values

normal
Deactivates of the use of alternate glyphs.
small-caps
Enables display of small capitals (OpenType feature: smcp). Small-caps glyphs typically use the form of uppercase letters but are reduced to the size of lowercase letters.
all-small-caps
Enables display of small capitals for both upper and lowercase letters (OpenType features: c2sc, smcp).
petite-caps
Enables display of petite capitals (OpenType feature: pcap).
all-petite-caps
Enables display of petite capitals for both upper and lowercase letters (OpenType features: c2pc, pcap).
unicase
Enables display of mixture of small capitals for uppercase letters with normal lowercase letters (OpenType feature: unic).
titling-caps
Enables display of titling capitals (OpenType feature: titl). Uppercase letter glyphs are often designed for use with lowercase letters. When used in all uppercase titling sequences they can appear too strong. Titling capitals are designed specifically for this situation.

Accessibility concerns

Large sections of text set with a font-variant value of all-small-caps or all-petite-caps may be difficult for people with cognitive concerns such as Dyslexia to read.

Formal definition

Initial value normal
Applies to all elements. It also applies to ::first-letter and ::first-line.
Inherited yes
Computed value as specified
Animation type discrete

Formal syntax

normal | small-caps | all-small-caps | petite-caps | all-petite-caps | unicase | titling-caps

Examples

Setting the small-caps font variant

HTML

<p class="small-caps">Firefox rocks, small caps!</p>
<p class="normal">Firefox rocks, normal caps!</p>

CSS

.small-caps {
  font-variant-caps: small-caps;
  font-style: italic;
}
.normal {
  font-variant-caps: normal;
  font-style: italic;
}

Result

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Fonts Module Level 3
The definition of 'font-variant-caps' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibilityUpdate compatibility data on GitHub

Desktop
Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
font-variant-caps 52 79 34
34
24 — 34
Disabled
Disabled From version 24 until version 34 (exclusive): this feature is behind the layout.css.font-features.enabled preference (needs to be set to true). To change preferences in Firefox, visit about:config.
No 39 No
Mobile
Android webview Chrome for Android Firefox for Android Opera for Android Safari on iOS Samsung Internet
font-variant-caps 52 52 34
34
24 — 34
Disabled
Disabled From version 24 until version 34 (exclusive): this feature is behind the layout.css.font-features.enabled preference (needs to be set to true). To change preferences in Firefox, visit about:config.
41 No 6.0

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Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v2.5 or later.
https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/font-variant-caps