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The following minimal example shows how I'd like to make Initials in my document. I make it with wrapfigure, but it seems to be hard to adjust manually or measure and adjust the height and width automatically.

\documentclass[twoside,11pt]{memoir}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage[latin2]{inputenc}
\usepackage{fouriernc}
\usepackage{blindtext}
\usepackage{calc}
\usepackage{wrapfig}
\usepackage{graphicx}

\renewcommand{\baselinestretch}{1.1}
\parskip9pt
\parindent0pt

\newlength{\wrapfig}            % this length will be used for measure the with of the letter
\newcommand{\initiale}[1]{%
 \settowidth{\wrapfig}{\makebox{\resizebox{!}{35pt}{#1}}}%
 \begin{wrapfigure}[3]{l}{\wrapfig-9pt}%
 \vskip-14pt
   \makebox{\resizebox{!}{35pt}{#1}}%
 \end{wrapfigure}\par
}

\begin{document}
\sloppy

\initiale{D}
Hello, here is some text without a meaning. This text should show, how a
printed text will look like at this place. If you read this text, you will get no
information. Really? Is there no information?Hello, here is some text without a meaning. 
This text should show, how a
printed text will look like at this place. If you read this text, you will get no
information. Really? Is there no information?

\initiale{D}
Hello, here is some text without a meaning. This text should show, how a
printed text will look like at this place. If you read this text, you will get no
information. Really? Is there no information?Hello, here is some text without a meaning.
This text should show, how a
printed text will look like at this place. If you read this text, you will get no
information. Really? Is there no information?

\end{document}

You can see, that there is also an other problem with wrapfigure. The vertical space above the "figure" is not the same as anywhere if the wrapfigure environment is on top at the page, or after a \clearpage command. The command \initiale{D} is the same before the text, it produces still an other output.

I'd like to ask after a better solution. It would be the easiest to take a \parbox at the left side, and then the text, but obviously there will be only one line text right to parbox. I tried also to set the \leftskip to a non zero value, but I can't set it back before the end of the actual paragraph.

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1 Answer

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You coould use the lettrine package. A little example:

\documentclass[twoside,11pt]{memoir}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage{fouriernc}
\usepackage{lettrine}
\renewcommand{\baselinestretch}{1.1}
\parskip9pt
\parindent0pt

\begin{document}
\sloppy

\lettrine[lines=3, lraise=0.1, nindent=0em]%
{H}{ello}, here is some text without a meaning. This text should show, how a
printed text will look like at this place. If you read this text, you will get no
information. Really? Is there no information?Hello, here is some text without a meaning.
This text should show, how a
printed text will look like at this place. If you read this text, you will get no
information. Really? Is there no information?

\lettrine[lines=3, lraise=0, nindent=1em, slope=-.5em]%
{H}{ello}, here is some text without a meaning. This text should show, how a
printed text will look like at this place. If you read this text, you will get no
information. Really? Is there no information?Hello, here is some text without a meaning.
This text should show, how a
printed text will look like at this place. If you read this text, you will get no
information. Really? Is there no information?

\lettrine[lines=4, lraise=0, nindent=0em,findent=10pt]%
{H}{}ello, here is some text without a meaning. This text should show, how a
printed text will look like at this place. If you read this text, you will get no
information. Really? Is there no information?Hello, here is some text without a meaning.
This text should show, how a
printed text will look like at this place. If you read this text, you will get no
information. Really? Is there no information?

\end{document}

On a side note, it's not a good idea to manually change \parskip and \parindent.

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Thanks, this solution is complete :-) –  Daniel May 5 '11 at 12:31
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