Take the 2-minute tour ×
TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I would like to know how I can increase the size of the first alphabet of first paragraph of a chapter using (Xe/La/?)tex. Please look at the image shown below.

Image related to question

  1. What is such an effect called? How do I achieve it using Latex?

  2. Are there any special fonts to be used for this purpose that contain ornamental/decorative alphabet faces? Or can it be achieved by some manipulation of existing alphabet glyphs?

  3. I am not a designer. I know this site is focused on Tex and not typography but I'd appreciate any pointers to popular typeface combinations for this purpose with popular text faces. E.g. If I am using Adobe Garamond Pro as my text face, what would be a suitable type to use for such a first-alphabet-decoration?

  4. And finally (this question may tantamount to heresy here): Is there a way to do this in Microsoft Word / OpenOffice?

share|improve this question
3  
The buzzword is drop caps. Here is a link and this for lots of resources. –  percusse Dec 13 '11 at 7:56
    
@perusse Thanks. I'll take a look. –  hashable Dec 13 '11 at 8:30
add comment

3 Answers 3

These are called dropcaps or lettrine (from the French). The best package to use is lettrine which is available from ctan.

Use as:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{lettrine}
\begin{document}
  \lettrine{A}{gain find} more words her...
\end{document}

They are very difficult to handle typographically, unless the whole page design has been developed with dropcaps incorporated. The modern trend is to use a sans serif font rather than a serified for the dropcap.

Can Microsoft do it? It can, but not recommended to be used for typesetting books.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks at lot. Can you clarify what you mean by "they are very difficult to handle typographically". Difficult to handle by what? Tex? –  hashable Dec 13 '11 at 8:32
2  
@hashable Difficult to blend with the design. For example in a novel, they might look ok, but not in many other publications. Ask yourself, what function do they serve? Their function is only decorative, so in effect you decorating a page! Technically there is no problem to handle them with (La)TeX. What type of book are you writing? –  Yiannis Lazarides Dec 13 '11 at 8:53
    
You can see some (probably quite good) examples in the Showcase thread: 1 2 3 4 –  tohecz Feb 2 '13 at 11:07
add comment
  1. (Dropped) initial (and some small caps following). See eg here: http://www.ctan.org/keyword/dropped

  2. See eg http://tex.blogoverflow.com/2011/08/putting-colors-in-initials/

  3. I don't know.

  4. Probably yes.

share|improve this answer
add comment

If you're willing to use the Linux Libertine and Biolinum fonts, loading them with the command

\usepackage{libertine}

in the preamble, you can create drop-caps with the commands

\LlettrineS[<height in number of lines>]{<letter>} % w/ border
\LlettrineM[<height in number of lines>]{<letter>} % w/ mosaic

\renewcommand*\LlettrineDline{<height in number of lines>} % followed by
\LlettrineD{<letter>} % for display-style letters

There are also related commands if you want to use the Biolinum (sans-serif) font. Overall, the manual says that the production of drop caps ("lettrine"s) is still in development. At this time, this approach may be a bit experimental... Give it a chance and see if you like the results...

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.