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I am using the lettrine package to typeset capitals. When there is an apostrophe with a capital L, the spaces look quite ugly. I would like to achieve something like the following:

target capital

I've already set some parameters of the capital to get close to it:

\lettrine[lines=3,lhang=0.33,lraise=0,loversize=0.15,findent=-1em,nindent=1.5em]{L'}{Esprit-Saint}

but the apostrophe is too far from the capital L. I've tried using \kern to get it closer, but I'm not getting anywhere really. Is there a way I can get the apostrophe aligned like in the given example?

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2 Answers 2

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\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage{lettrine,blindtext}
\begin{document}

\lettrine[lines=2,lhang=0.33,lraise=0,loversize=0.15,
  nindent=1.5em]{L\kern-5pt'}{Esprit-Saint}
\blindtext
\end{document}

enter image description here

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  • I think the apostrophe works better if placed thus: \lettrine[...]{L\kern-5pt}{'Esprit-Saint}, since then it is in the natural size, as in the example of the OP. Also, is the loversize intended to make the top of the L level with the first line of text? I keep getting font size substitutions so I can't see what's going on (I know nothing about dealing with fonts in TeX, so I can't help this).
    – Ryan Reich
    Jun 7, 2011 at 3:19
  • Whether the apostrophe should be part of the capital or the small caps text is subject to debate. In my case, the apostrophe looks quite ugly if I put it in the small caps, so I chose to put it with the lettrine.
    – raphink
    Jun 8, 2011 at 9:18
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If you need to push back the apostrophe, precede it by

\kern-.3em

or something and maybe add some kern after it. That is

\lettrine[...]{L\kern-.3em'\kern.1em}{Esprit-Saint}

It obviously depends on the font. I would let the apostrophe where it goes, though.

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  • Thanks for the answer. Where the apostrophe goes is a bit ugly in the lettrine, as it makes a huge blank square between the L's vertical bar and the small capitals. I've read on a typography forum that it was a better idea to try and align it as shown in my question.
    – raphink
    Jun 6, 2011 at 21:30

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