Upper case number

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Above: word in uppercase and uppercase numbers,
below: word with minuscule and minuscule numbers
(each with base line ; font: Linux Libertine )

Lining Figures (also: Majuskelziffern or normal digits ) are glyphs of European decimal digits , which (in contrast to old style figures ) without descenders on the writing line are provided and a uniform, with uppercase ( capital letters ) of the same font so matching height (having up to H-line rich ). Capital letters are also a little smaller and more delicate than capital letters.

Uppercase digits are the usual form of representation for numbers ( table digits ) that do not appear in paragraph text . But they have also been widespread there since the 19th century ; to this day, however, they are not welcomed with demanding typesetting in the context of a text, as they impair the homogeneous appearance of a text block.

In English there are different names for the capital letters. So find there Lining Figures, Regular Numerals or Titling Figures use. Many fonts have corresponding abbreviations in their names, usually “LF” for lining figures.

Digital typography

The choice of uppercase, old-style and possibly other forms of representation of digits is a font such as B. the choice of italic font display. More sophisticated word processing programs, especially desktop publishing software, also allow the choice in this form. Where this is not possible, this can be done by explicitly choosing a font with the desired digit shapes. At the level of the character coding (especially in Unicode ), no distinction is made between the various digit forms.

It is true that Unicode with the encodings 1D7F6–1D7FF in the block mathematical alphanumeric symbols explicitly contains uppercase numbers with the same thickness. However, these are only to be used where the use of special numeric representations is meaningful (and expressly not aesthetically motivated); specifically, these characters (as the Unicode block name suggests) are intended for mathematical applications. They are therefore only available in fonts specially designed for such areas of application and should therefore not be used as a substitute for fonts.


  • Bringhurst, Robert: The Elements of Typographic Style , Hartley & Marks; Point Roberts, Vancouver: 2005. ISBN 978-0-88179-206-5 (English)
  • Forssman, Friedrich; de Jong, Ralf: Detail typography , Verlag Hermann Schmidt Mainz: 2004. ISBN 978-3-87439-642-4

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