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Hi :)
Drop Caps pre-dates printing and wikipedia shows an example c.200 on papyrus
but i found this link easier to make sense of

Apparently in the early days of printing they would leave a space for the letter and an illustrator 
could be hired to carefully create the letter after the book had been printed and sold!  Some were 
a lot more ornate than others!  In web-design we sometimes do roughly the same nowadays with that 
first letter being an image that the text wraps around.  Of course it's a lot easier nowadays and 
it's easier to replace the image if it looks a bit wrong and tehre are other ways of doing it.  
Regards from
Tom :)  

From: webmaster-Kracked_P_P <>
Sent: Sunday, 27 January 2013, 21:27
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Drop Caps Character Style in Writer

On 01/27/2013 03:35 PM, Brian Barker wrote:
At 14:07 27/01/2013 -0500, Kevin O'Brien wrote:
I was working on understanding Character Styles in Writer, and it seems mostly straightforward. 
But I noticed that the Drop Caps style does not seem to do anything at all. Is that a bug or am 
I misunderstanding something here?

I'm guessing here, but I think I can see its usefulness.  You set drop caps as a property of 
your paragraph or paragraph style, of course.  You may not wish the dropped cap to have the same 
character style as the rest of the paragraph text.  So the Drop Caps tab of the Paragraph or 
Paragraph Style dialogue gives you the opportunity to select a separate character style to be 
applied to the dropped caps themselves.  I'm guessing that the Drop Caps character style is 
provided as a convenient style to use for this purpose: you can select it in the paragraph or 
paragraph style properties and then set the character properties that you want in the Drop Caps 
character style.

You could alternatively create your own character style(s), of course.  But that's true of all 
the predefined styles.

I trust this helps.

Brian Barker

I have seen this done with books. the take the first character of the first paragraph of a chapter 
and use a larger or different font style of character.  They have been doing this thing since the 
early days of printing.  Some people call this "type" of thing "illumination" or something like 
that.  Many times the that first character is in color or some really fancy font style [as we call 
it now].

There are some really interesting things that can be done with Writer and its font/text styling, 
but I know only a few of them.

Sometimes it is easier for me to do it with graphic images or changing the font, but sometimes it 
is harder that way.

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