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Arcana: Markup for special occasions: drop capitals

From time to time, I like to use drop capital letters, for example at the start of a chapter, or to create a break in running prose.


An illuminated capital letter T

There is a special line markup for this purpose. See Sample of drop capitals in action and notice that:

  • the first letter “drops” below the baseline
  • the opening phrase is set in small caps
  • there is extra inter-paragraph spacing in print

Sample of drop capitals in action

Nulla gravida, felis ac pulvinar convallis, tortor pede vehicula libero, sed faucibus urna tellus tempor lectus. Vestibulum porttitor. Phasellus consequat euismod nisi. Duis faucibus cursus nisl. Fusce augue velit, euismod sit amet, feugiat sed, laoreet quis, massa. Vivamus sed nunc sed tortor semper semper. Pellentesque venenatis.

Cras erat tortor, eleifend vitae, imperdiet vel, aliquet non, lacus. Integer id erat. Sed neque. Aliquam rutrum. Praesent nec ipsum. Vivamus eu purus at dui dapibus semper. Duis et odio at mauris laoreet pulvinar. Mauris viverra. Sed ultrices purus eu massa. Etiam ut ante in purus luctus ornare. Fusce at tortor non turpis bibendum hendrerit.

Here is a markup example. The first character can be any upper case letter, followed by a semi-colon.

N;ulla gravida;, felis ac pulvinar convallis, tortor pede \
vehicula libero, sed faucibus urna tellus tempor lectus.

Nulla gravida, felis ac pulvinar convallis, tortor pede vehicula libero, sed faucibus urna tellus tempor lectus.

To remember the markup character, think Small-Caps = Semi-Colon. The small caps markup uses the same character: ';small caps;'.

Category: markup

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Page last modified on 20 June 2008 at 05:16 PM