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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, the print and interactive page layout application from Adobe, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
Uppercase versus lowercase, which to use and when? Sometimes you want text in uppercase for emphasis. And then what about small caps? Well, my basic rule is never type anything in all caps if I can avoid it. Instead, I always type in lowercase, and then apply cap styling to it. Let me show you what I mean. I'd like to give some emphasis to the first few words of this story, so I'll double-click on it to switch the Type tool, select that text that I want to apply the format to, and then come up here to the Control panel and click on this TT icon.
When I do that, it changes it to make it look all caps. Notice that I said make "it look." It didn't actually change it to all caps. It didn't retype it in all caps. It just made it look like its all caps. So if click the button again, it goes back to the way it was. It's just formatting. Now setting things to all caps usually makes it look like you're shouting. So I try and avoid that if I can. Instead, I like to use small caps. That's the button right under it with the big and little T. However, note that small caps leave uppercase characters as uppercase. Only the lowercase characters get changed.
What if we wanted all to be in small caps, even the uppercase characters? For example, I want this Monterey County to be in small caps. So I'll select it and instead of choosing that from the Control panel, I'm going to go to my Control panel menu, come over here to the OpenType submenu, and choose All Small Caps. This will only work if your font supports the small cap styling. Otherwise, it will show up with brackets around it, in which case InDesign can't do anything with it. But in this case, the font does support all small cap styling and I can choose that.
You can see that both words, even the uppercase characters, got changed to small caps. So what you do when you encounter some text that is actually typed in all caps, like this word BREATHTAKING? Let me scroll over here, so we can see it better. Whoever typed this typed it in capital letters. So what should you do? Well, InDesign can convert that to actual lowercase characters if you want to. By going to the Type menu, and choosing Change Case. There are four options here. You can set it to Uppercase, which I don't know why you'd want to do that, but it's nice that it gives you the option.
Lowercase, which we'll change it to lowercase. That's probably what we want. Title Case, in which every word starts with a capital letter, or Sentence case in which just the first word starts with a capital letter. We want lowercase here, and then apply the small cap styling to it. I really don't like the way that's breaking across the line here, so I'm going to go to the Control panel flyout menu and turn on No Break. That looks much better. As I've said before, I'd like to keep my options open whenever possible. Using the all caps and small caps styles are a great way to maintain flexibility and still get the effect you want.
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