# [Mac OS X TeX] Dropped caps

Wed Nov 14 22:54:36 EST 2001


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Producing a Dropped Initial Cap in Latex

Since getting into TeX a short while ago I have been trying to
replicate the design lay-out features of standard packages like
Quark. In particular I have been trying to produce a dropped initial
capital. To my surprise no manual on TeX or laTeX mentioned how to
do this and those same manuals also didn't use dropped capitals--a
surprise as they're standard in book publishing. It seems to be a
neglected art in TeX.

Being a novice it took me a while to work this out---but having expended
many days on the effort I thought I would share it with others, as a way
of giving back to a community that is tirelessly generous. What took me
days, a TeX-pert could probably have done in minutes---or less!

So here goes.

In the pre-amble of the document put:

\usepackage{wrapfig}
\usepackage{graphicx}

And optionally:

\usepackage{color}

After the begin document command put:

\noindent
\begin{wrapfigure}[4]{l}{10mm}
\scalebox{4.5}{\textcolor{red}{Q}}
\end{wrapfigure}

\noindent

This produces a dropped capital Q, in this case, coloured red, if colour
is put in.

In the second line there is: [4]{l}{10mm}

The 4 is necessary to drop the cap 3 lines, because of an idiosyncrasy
of the wrapfigure package. The 'l' means that it is to be placed on the
left-hand side of the page. The 10mm is the width of the space in which
the drop cap sits. It can be altered depending on the width of the
letter.

The scalebox command can also be tweaked depending on the size of the
letter. 4.5 was just about right here.

After \end{wrapfigure} there needs to be a paragraph break to prevent
the surrounding text sitting above the cap. Which then requires the
\noindent command.

That is it!

Cheers

p.s. To TeX-perts: Is there an even easier way of doing this?

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