5

The documentation of lettrine describes using \ante= for quotation marks before dropped capitals. This produces a quotation mark of the same size as in normal text:

\documentclass[12pt]{article}
\usepackage{lettrine}
\begin{document}
\lettrine[ante=‘]{C}{uriouser} and curiouser!’\ cried Alice (she was
so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak
good English); ‘now I’m opening out like the largest telescope that
ever was! Good-bye, feet!’\ (for when she looked down at her feet,
they seemed to be almost out of sight, they were getting so far off).
\end{document}

output

However, in Raised and Dropped Initials, Allan Haley writes, “When using quotes, the opening quote should be sized somewhere between the initial size and the point size of the text copy, but its alignment should remain at the optical top of the letter.” And following this advice isn't easy.

Including the quotation mark in the same argument as the initial (\lettrine{‘C}{uriouser}) yields perfect alignment, but the quotation mark is too big:

output

Using \ante= with a size-changing command (\lettrine[ante=\LARGE ‘]{C}{uriouser}) produces a reasonably sized but misaligned quotation mark:

output

Including the quotation mark in the same argument as the initial, but with a size-changing command (\lettrine{{\LARGE ‘}C}{uriouser}), also produces a reasonably sized but misaligned quotation mark, though now it’s too low rather than too high:

output

Manual adjustment (\lettrine{\raisebox{.46ex}{\LARGE ‘}C}{uriouser}) gives results which seem acceptable:

output

This was the outcome of trial-and-error, much of which would need to be repeated if I decided to make the initial occupy three or four lines. My question is whether there’s a more elegant way 1) to find a size for the quotation mark that’s between that of the initial and that of the text and 2) to align it properly.

I compile with luatex, in case that opens up possible solutions.

1 Answer 1

4

Here I define \loq (lettrine open quote) by scaling the font used for the lettrine and raising the opening quote by the necessary amount.

\RequirePackage{fix-cm}
\documentclass[12pt]{article}
\usepackage{lettrine}

\newcommand\loq{%
  \sbox0{T}%
  \sbox2{%
    \dimen0=\csname f@size\endcsname pt
    \dimen0=0.5\dimen0 % adjust the factor to suit
    \fontsize{\dimen0}{0}\selectfont`%
  }%
  \raisebox{\dimexpr\ht0-\ht2}{\usebox{2}}%
}

\begin{document}

\lettrine{\loq C}{uriouser} and curiouser!’\ cried Alice (she was
so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak
good English); ‘now I’m opening out like the largest telescope that
ever was! Good-bye, feet!’\ (for when she looked down at her feet,
they seemed to be almost out of sight, they were getting so far off).

\end{document}

enter image description here

I added fix-cm to get arbitrarily scalable fonts; with LuaLaTeX you won't need it.

Following advice of Barbara Beeton, here's how to move the opening quote in the left margin.

\RequirePackage{fix-cm}
\documentclass[12pt]{article}
\usepackage{lettrine}

\newcommand\loq{%
  \sbox0{T}%
  \sbox2{%
    \dimen0=\csname f@size\endcsname pt
    \dimen0=0.5\dimen0 % adjust the factor to suit
    \fontsize{\dimen0}{0}\selectfont`%
  }%
  \llap{\raisebox{\dimexpr\ht0-\ht2}{\usebox{2}}}%
}

\begin{document}

\lettrine{\loq C}{uriouser} and curiouser!’\ cried Alice (she was
so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak
good English); ‘now I’m opening out like the largest telescope that
ever was! Good-bye, feet!’\ (for when she looked down at her feet,
they seemed to be almost out of sight, they were getting so far off).

\end{document}

enter image description here

1
  • 1
    The size and vertical position look good, but I think it would look even better if the open quote were offset into the left margin. Maybe \llap would work. Aug 4, 2021 at 17:40

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