Small capital letters?

+3 votes
104 views
Is there an easy way to present small capital letters (smallcaps) in the wiki markup here?

Smallcaps are found in a lot of genealogical and biographical references, especially for key names, and it would be nice when quoting text here to be able to duplicate that feature.

Wikipedia (English) has a template {{smallcaps}} for use there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Smallcaps
in WikiTree Tech by Don Osborn G2G5 (5.6k points)
Given that the link says “it should be avoided or used sparingly” I can’t see it being warranted here.
Thanks for the feedback. The idea would be to make the text more readable, and set off important names in a way that facilitates scanning (I'm guessing those are similar to the reasons smallcaps were typeset for books). For me - and I'm not assuming that's the same for everyone - all caps can stand out too much (keep in mind many people use them for "shouting" in social media), and mixed caps blend into the text.

Not a major point, but just thinking about it looking at a text imported from a source that used smallcaps to good effect. Definitely not proposing it for wide use.
Well there's the triple apostrophe mark fore and aft, which causes the text to be in bold ... there's also marks to use to make the text appear in Italic

Have you tried: <small>SMALL CAPS</small>

3 Answers

+3 votes
I'm missing the point, I'm afraid. Keeping it simple should, I think, be the watchword here, since family historians come from all sorts of backgrounds. I had a look at what Wikipedia had to say and I still couldn't understand the purpose. BEWARE OF DOG seems just right to me.
by C. Mackinnon G2G6 Pilot (222k points)
Good point re diverse backgrounds and not wanting to make the editing field so complicated that folks throw up their hands and leave. So I was looking for something simple like a template.

That said, as one with long experience with wiki markup (altho not getting into stuff that's too fancy), I sometimes get the feeling on WP as well as WT that the multiplication of templates and use of "span" arguments is not well advertised or explained. E.g., it's not easy to find say a template or other markup that one has seen on some profile and now would like to incorporate. E.g., the use of spans before some source citations is not clear in terms of function.

Whether or not a simple template for smallcaps is created, it would be nice to have a quick reference page on "Markup & templates," accessible via the Help pulldown (something discussing what otherwise might be in say the Templates category & subcaegory).
+4 votes
<span style="font-variant:small-caps;">This Is In Small Caps</span>
by Mike Wells G2G6 Mach 1 (19.3k points)
Thanks for this. I was hoping not to have to include that much markup
Wikimarkup/Wikiext font templates and other standard templates aren't supported by Wikitree. The font template would have simply been expanded to the span tags.
Ok, thanks. I guess the point is moot then.
+7 votes
WikiTree needs to keep its markup simple. Many users on the lower end of the technology scale get frustrated and discouraged to encounter such coding when trying to edit profiles. It can cause people to walk away. Users need to be encouraged to focus more on the quality of profile content, rather than on learning how to code or decipher fancy formatting.

Small caps are purely aesthetic and do not add anything to understanding. Regular caps do the job just as well, if necessary, but in most cases the use of mixed caps is probably better anyway.
by Joyce Rivette G2G6 Mach 7 (75.1k points)
Thank you. My reply to C. Mackinnon, above, responds to some of what you write.

Wrt aesthetics, I'd agree not putting too much emphasis on appearance (changing fonts for example would be too much). Otoh, having a presentation device like smallcaps can IMO make key names stand out, and provide useful variation to a block of text. All caps, bold, and italic are other devices we use for that.

But again, I don't mean to make a big issue of this - just something that occurred as I was adding a public domain bio that used smallcaps to a profile.

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