font-variant-caps

The font-variant-caps CSS property controls the usage 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 becomes SS 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.

Formal syntax

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

Examples

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

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.

Specifications

Initial valuenormal
Applies toall elements. It also applies to ::first-letter and ::first-line.
Inheritedyes
Mediavisual
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

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

Browser Compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support52 No

34

24 — 341

No39 No
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support5252 No

34

24 — 341

39 No6.0

1. 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.

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: ninjanails,