I'm trying to create the ornament effect in first paragraph of the example below in latex. I know how to use the lettrine package for creating drop caps but I'm unclear how ornaments spanning the height of the paragraph can be inserted. Also I appreciate pointers to any known ornament packages.

enter image description here


2 Answers 2


Something like this perhaps

enter image description here

\def\a{One two three four five six seven eight nine ten.}
\def\b{\a\a something else \a\a yet more text \a\a\a



  • 1
    You like egreg very much indeed ;-)
    – user11232
    Commented Nov 2, 2014 at 23:02
  • 1
    @HarishKumar better squashed:-) Commented Nov 2, 2014 at 23:14
  • Thanks. Would there be a way to do this without referring to an ornament image and using any ornament package?
    – hashable
    Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 2:09
  • @hashable yes sure, \includegraphics can be any tex construct. If you have an ornament font and want say \symbol{123} from that font use \scalebox{!}{\dimexpr\ht0+\dp0}{\symbol{123}} instead to use the character scaled to the right size Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 7:39

A couple of possibilities. The first uses pgfornament. The second simply constructs the ornament using TiKZ. In both cases, minipage environments are used to manage the placement.

combination of ornaments

TiKZ construction

  name=fade north,
  top color=transparent!100,
  bottom color=transparent!0]
  name=fade south,
  top color=transparent!0,
  bottom color=transparent!100]
      \pgfornament[width=.425\myparheight, symmetry=h]{15}%
      \pgfornament[width=.425\myparheight, symmetry=h]{16}

      \begin{tikzpicture}[inner sep=0pt, outer sep=0pt]
        \draw [inner color=white, outer color=black, draw opacity=.75]
          (0,0) coordinate (o) [out=75,in=-30] to (0,1) [out=-45, in=105] to cycle
          (0,0) [out=-75, in=30] to (0,-1) [out=45, in=-105] to cycle
          (0,0) [out=30, in=-120] to (.5,1) [out=-150, in=30] to cycle
          (0,0) [out=30, in=-135] to (1,1)  coordinate (ne) [out=-150, in=30] to cycle
          (0,0) [out=-30, in=120] to (.5,-1) [out=150, in=-30] to cycle
          (0,0) [out=-30, in=135] to (1,-1)  coordinate (se) [out=150, in=-30] to cycle
          (0,0) [out=20, in=-125] to (1,.67) [out=-155, in=20] to cycle
          (0,0) [out=-20, in=125] to (1,-.67) [out=155, in=-20] to cycle
          (0,0) [out=15, in=-135] to (1,.33) [out=-155, in=15] to cycle
          (0,0) [out=-15, in=135] to (1,-.33) [out=155, in=-15] to cycle
          (0,0) [out=-10, in=-175] to (1,0) [out=175, in=10] to cycle
        \begin{scope}[on background layer, inner sep=1pt]
          \node [fill=gray!85, path fading=fade north, fit={(o) (ne)}] {};
          \node [fill=gray!85, path fading=fade south, fit={(o) (se)}] {};
          \node [draw=black, draw opacity=.75, fit={(o |- ne) (se)}] {};
  • Your paragraphs are much better than David's. And about the ornaments, well…
    – egreg
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 18:08
  • @egreg Oh, David's ornament is clearly superior but I hoped mine would be somewhat acceptable, given that the best choice had already been taken.
    – cfr
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 20:19

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