Old style lowercase numbers aka small caps

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Is there a way to convert standard "capital style" numbers to old style lowercase ones?

I'm referring to this style:

Also explained at this Italian language link:

(go to "I numeri proporzionali o minuscoli" paragraph)

For example Scribus has useful scripts like "autoquote" and "autoquote2" to improve typographic output.
Is there anything similar for numbers style improvement too?

Thanks in advance!


After years I found an answer for the above question.

Tried to install Adobe Source Serif font on my system and insert some numbers in a text frame, tried with a random yar for instance:


Now under "text proprieties" and "font features" appear three options related to numbers:

- Default numbers
- Lining
- Elzevirians

In my italian localized interface I read "Elzeviriani".
And this last option produce what I was looking for, the numbers of date "1967" became "oldstyle" with number 1 smaller and "in line", 9 and 7 with "descenders", and number 6 with ascender.

I tried with an other font: URW Palladio (it's on my system thanks to texlive installation):


But this time seems there aren't any "font feature" listed under "text proprieties"... but the font should support old style numbers.

Any hint?


wow, didn't know about that
seems to very dependent on the font as to what options are available
I didn't see any that would set the numbers like the old style
maybe there is a character code for the old style numbers?


Some fonts have them as a font feature, others have them in the normal number positions, others (non-unicode fonts) may have them in odd places (so you need to figure out what character code they have, but then most softwares will probably not treat them as numbers).


buondì scriber,

if you're sure that the version of urw palladio that you have installed contains the old style numeral, you can open a ticket in https://bugs.scribus.net

but a quick internet search for that font and debian got me the result


which tells me that fonts-texgyre contains "TeX Gyre Pagella family of fonts is based on the URW Palladio L family".

the font is installed in my system and scribus provides the old style numerals option for it.

my guess is that you don't have a recent otf version of the font...


Thanks Ale, will try it..

Now I'm facing with a really unexpected issue using "adobe source serif pro / 4" sized 12pt":
(as you know) in Italian language we need some accent on vocals letters, and sometimes they can be after a "full stop mark", for instance:

Ciao ciao, andiamo al cinema tornerò alle eccecc.
Dov'è andato? Devo parlargli.
È andato al cinema.

On the last line we have a capital "E" with accent.
The problem is that I obtain a big vertical space before that line, like that character needed much more space over.

The following image should explain better what happens:


I tried the same font on other software, like libre office writer for instance, but it appears regular as expected... The issue appears just in Scribus.

I'm off topic here, I likely should open a new one focused on this issue.. anyway hope some body know if there is a way so solve.

Thanks in advance!

The above issue appears with "align to baseline grid" option activated.


personally, i believe that the user should be able to optionally tell scribus to respect the baseline, no matter what happens (the most relevant case for me, is when the baseline grid exactly matches the bottom of the frame).

but this is not what scribus does:
if the ascent or descent do not fit, then the line is skipped.

this is what happens in your case È is too "high" and you will need to increase the value for the baseline grid.
(to be honest, in this case, if È does not fit, it's likely that your text is too dense and will not be pleasant to read)


Yes, with align to baseline grid the issue is that there is not a lot needed to force the line to the next grid line.


[T]hose are font features and definitely depend on the font

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