Ok so I know about the \lettrine package and using it to adjust the first letter of a paragraph. What I am interested in is adjusting the first three or four letters of the first word of a paragraph. For example:

Hello, this is the beginning of my paragraph. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

^ in the above example I want the H in hello to be super big - similar to using lettrine. But now I want the e to be capital and also big, but smaller than the H, and then the first L to also be capital and smaller than the E but larger than the remaining text. Think of it as having 3 beginning characters - each having varying heights - all above the text base (not hanging like the letterine default).

The equivalent in a regular word processor would be: [26pt] {H}, [22pt] {E}, [18pt] {L}, [11pt] {lo, this is my starting para...

I cannot use lettrine more than once in a row, as the letters stack vertically.

What I do currently is:



\lettrine{H}{}\begin{Huge}E\end{Huge}\begin{LARGE}L\end{LARGE}\begin{large}L\end{large}o there. Ramble ramble ramble....

  • What kind of interface are you interested in? \mypar{Hello}... or \mypar{Hel}lo ... or \mypar Hello ... That last option seems more intuitive. – Werner Feb 7 '17 at 17:57
  • I dont care - the simplest one, say it is a book document class, so I guess either \mypar{Hello}... or \mypar{Hel}lo ... – Saladou Feb 7 '17 at 17:59

This is a starting point, in order to see that it's not really a good idea. ;-)

\usepackage{lmodern} % or other fully scalable font family


  \par\addvspace{6pt}% for the big letter


\mypar{H}{E}{L}o there. \lipsum[2]

\mypar{H}{E}{L}o there. \lipsum[3]


enter image description here

  • If the large characters cause the baseline to be shifted down, you can fix it by using \strut\smash{...} where ... means the code you use for making the letter larger. Not for use with lettrine. – user103221 Feb 7 '17 at 19:08
  • @RobtA At least, the OP is using capital letters. ;-) – egreg Feb 7 '17 at 20:21

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