# Do we want small caps?

after writing this answer What chemicals are present in burnt toast? i have encountered that there is no small caps available in MathJax. Wouldn't it be a good idea to provide small caps for citing s.o.?

Or is it possible to format parts in small caps through html maybe?

Update it seems possible to fake small caps thru using T\scriptsize EST which renders to $\mathrm{T\scriptsize EST}$ . But this is somehow poor since font weight and tracking does not fit together.

• Good idea. I was going to see what Manish (one of the other mods) had to say about it later, but this works too! Thanks. – jonsca Jul 28 '12 at 11:13

\text overrides all LaTeX commands inside it, so there's little use in that for upright text. Use \mathrm instead (unfortunately you have to include \: or ~ space literals). Then use the text size commands, nearly all work in mathjax.

$NORMAL\:CAPS \:\:\mathrm{UPRIGHT \:CAPS \:\:\small SMALL\: CAPS1\:\:\scriptsize SMALL\: CAPS2\:\:\tiny SMALL\: CAPS3\:\:}$ Normal text

$NORMAL\:CAPS \:\:\mathrm{UPRIGHT \:CAPS \:\:\small SMALL\: CAPS1\:\:\scriptsize SMALL\: CAPS2\:\:\tiny SMALL\: CAPS3\:\:}$ Normal text

So, your bread answer would use \mathrm{\scriptsize MONNIER} ($\mathrm{\scriptsize MONNIER}$) or \mathrm{\small MONNIER} ($\mathrm{\small MONNIER}$) or \mathrm{\tiny MONNIER} ($\mathrm{\tiny MONNIER}$)

I'm afraid Mathjax doesn't have a direct smallcaps command (off the top of my head)

• Those are not samll caps those are just capital letters. Small caps would look like $\mathrm{T\small EXT}$ were minuscule are transformed in small majuscule and majuscuel in a slightly bigger majuscuel. Just using upper case letter is typographically mhhm let's say poor ;) – bloodworks Jul 28 '12 at 15:24
• @blood I know, these are just workarounds (though I forgot to make the first letter normalsize). If you really want it, you can (a) write a mathjax-compatible TeX command [its's easy to import these to chem.se, though I dunno if the devs will do it for an apparently not-so-useful command] that renders as textsc (b) submit a feature-request, or (c) write a mathjax extension – ManishEarth Jul 28 '12 at 17:56

For me, the answer is clearly that we don't really need small caps. Small caps for author names are a convention in some publications, but there is no need for us to adopt it. In particular, it's not a common convention in chemistry journals…

• maybe we don't need them in formulae, bot we do in some names, so I don't agree – mykhal Jul 29 '18 at 8:58

(The question has currently no tag indicating it is MathJax/Tex/.. related, so let me be more general...)

Smallcaps support in general SE syntax, not (only) in MathJax, is essential for correct typesetting of the D/L- stereochemical prefixes (e.g. in β-D-glucopyranose or L-alanine).*

Citing from the ACS style guide – Conventions in chemistry:

Use small capital letters D and L for absolute configuration with amino acids and carbohydrates.*

P-102.3.2 The stereodescriptors ‘D’ and ‘L’ *

(…) The configurational stereodescriptors ‘D’ and ‘L’ must be written in small capital letters and linked by a hyphen to the name of a sugar.* (…)

There's a feature request in meta.SE to allow the <small> tag, which is a usual realization of this typography e.g. at the Wikipedia.

Another possible solution is to use Unicode small capital letters (preview: β-ᴅ-glucopyranose or ʟ-alanine), however these are meant to have IPA/phonetic meaning.

*) The D/L notation is here incorrectly presented in capital letters, because of missing smallcaps support

• Experiments here. – mykhal Oct 4 '18 at 11:10