I am using the package lettrine to typeset capitals. In the documentation there are some special parameters to get the text closer in certain letter. For example, with the A you can set up lettrine to follow the inclination of the letter. Same with the V and other examples. What I would like is to get the text closer in the L.

To make it clear. I get the following:

enter image description here

and I would like this:

enter image description here


  • Did you try tex.stackexchange.com/questions/20082/… ?
    – egreg
    Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 8:44
  • And welcome to TeX.SE!
    – raphink
    Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 8:48
  • @egreg: it is not the same, notice that in the example of that question the capital letter covers only 2 lines, so it is possible to control with findent. Here it is not the case. Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 11:17

1 Answer 1


I asked the exact same question yesterday: Make apostrophe closer to letter

With the apostrophe in dropcap

This was my initial attempt, playing with \kern to adjust the apostrophe back inside the capital L:


In my case, this setting gives me this:

L lettrine with apostrophe

Your request: apostrophe in small caps

I have chosen to include the apostrophe in the lettrine. Whether this is good practice is subject to debate among French typographists. If you wish to keep the apostroph in the text and get the text inside the lettrine as in your example, you can use the findent and nindent parameters of the lettrine instead.

For example, with:

   {L}{'Esprit-Saint ...}

I get the following:

Lettrine using nindent

Using slope to achieve the exact result you desire

In the previous example, I used nindent but this put the second and third lines to the right of the dropcap. In your example, you wanted the second line in the L and the third line to its right. You can achieve that by using slope instead of nindent, although that work with 3 lines (as in your situation).

   {L}{'Esprit-Saint ...}

gives me:

Lettrine using slope

Adjusting oversize to align on top

Finally, you might want to adjust the oversize parameter so the top of the lettrine fits with the apostrophe.

   {L}{'Esprit-Saint ...}

Lettrine with slope and adjusted oversize

You'll have to adapt the values to your own font.


After doing all this, I actually settled for this last solution for my own document, instead of the first solution I gave above.


To make things easier, to can add your defaults to a local lettrine.cfg file, for example:

%% These are *decimal* numbers:                                                 
% Define default options per letter                                             

and then you can set the default options per letter in optfile.cfl:

% options per letter                                                            
  • Thank you! I agree it could be OK to put the apostrophe in the lettrine, however this is a text mainly in English, where just the abstract is in French, so it would look a bit odd to have the apostrophe also big (specially because in the same page it is the abstract in English, which starts with "The", so I prefer your second solution). Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 11:22

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