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Drop It Right Here

Styles of initial caps


Drop it right here

Drop a decorative letter into your page layout.

© J. Bear
Initial caps — those oversized, sometimes ornate letters used to introduce paragraphs in books, newsletters, and ads — do serve a purpose. What? You thought they were just there for decoration? Initial caps, by their size or design attract the eye of the reader. They signal the start of a story or a change in focus. In long articles or predominantly text publications they provide a visual break.

There are three basic types of initial caps:

There are also endless variations in initial caps beyond these basic styles.

Fine-tune Your Initial Caps

A frequent complaint from readers is that initial caps make it harder to read the text. Learn how to adjust initial caps for best appearance and readability with these steps:
  1. Adjust Gaps in Dropped Caps
  2. Eliminate Trapped White Space in Initial Caps
  3. Put Initial Caps on Baseline

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