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Examples of Initial Caps

written by: S Wood•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 11/15/2010

These examples of initial caps give you an insight into the three types you can use for the first letter of a paragraph of your content. It can be of a newsletter, brochure, flyer, book or something else. Initial caps have the power to add a unique touch to your content.

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    How to Use Initial Caps in Word – Illustration with Examples

    With the review of the initial caps examples, choose the one that best meets your needs. What is an initial cap? It is the first, capital letter of a paragraph. This letter is larger in size than the other letters. The three initial caps types are raised, dropped and adjacent. Ornamental fonts for initial caps can give a higher appeal. Why? Such types combine art with a letter. Keep in mind, however, an ornamental cap with a complex design makes it difficult to read the text.

    Initial Caps Examplesraised cap

    dropped cap 

    adjacent cap How to Use Initial caps?

    These are a standard feature in desktop publishing programs. Also, such software gives you more control over the display of the caps. If you use Word, however, for your DTP projects, here’s the good news: With Word you can create initial caps.

    Purpose of Initial Caps

    They give a unique dimension to your content. Exploit initial caps to lead the reader into the text. The use of initial caps is a design technique to add flair and create interest.

    Overview of Initial Caps

    Raised Caps: A raised cap rises above the other letters of the first word and line of a paragraph. To create a raised cap, just increase the font size of the first letter. The base of the raised cap aligns with that of the first line. Note the larger type for the first letter creates an extra space between the first and second line. Adjust the leading between those lines to revert to the original gap between the lines.

    Dropped Caps: Drop the initial letter into the paragraph with the drop cap feature. Make sure that the top of the dropped cap aligns with the top of the first line. You can control how many lines deep the cap drops. If you find extra space to the right of the initial cap, fine tune the kerning to fix the problem.

    Adjacent Caps: It’s another version of dropped caps. The initial cap doesn’t drop in the body of the paragraph. Instead, the cap appears in a separate column of its own. Where does this column appear? It displays adjacent to the text.

    Step-by-Step Procedure to use Initial Caps with Word

    1. Start MS Word.

    2. Create your content, say for a newsletter.

    3. Create a raised cap:

    Highlight the first letter of a paragraph.

    Increase the font size many times the original value, so the initial cap looks distinct.

    The raised cap also creates a problem: It leaves a large gap between the first and second lines of the paragraph. extra space between lines 

    To fix the extra space problem:

    Highlight the paragraph.

    Click Format > Paragraph. The Paragraph dialog appears.

    paragraph dialog 

    In the Spacing frame, set the “Line spacing" value to “Exactly".

    Increase the value of the “At" field, until the space between the lines of the paragraph is the same as before.

    paragraph dialog At 

    Now, the initial cap appears in part. To display the entire cap increase the value of the “Before" field, until the first letter has adequate space to appear in full.

    paragraph dialog Before field 

    extra space removed 

    4. Create a dropped cap:

    Highlight the first letter.

    Click Format > Drop Cap. The Drop Cap dialog appears.

    dropcap dialog 

    Click the Dropped thumb nail.

    dropcap thumbnail 

    Specify how deep you want to drop the cap by typing a value in the “Lines to drop" field, or accept default.

    Specify the gap between the dropped cap and the lines it affects by typing a value in the “Distance from text" field, or accept default.

    Click OK.

    TIP: If you use a script font for the dropped cap, and if it appears partly, click the letter. A bounding box appears. Click on a boundary. Drag the middle node on the boundary on the right until the cap displays correctly.

    5. Create an Adjacent Cap:

    Highlight the first letter.

    Click Format > Drop Cap. The Drop Cap dialog appears.

    Click the “In margin" thumb nail.

    Inmargin thumbnail 

    Click OK.

    TIP: If you wish to remove some or all of the initial caps types from your content, first highlight an initial cap. Then, click Format > Drop Cap. Click the “None" thumbnail. Repeat these steps for other initial caps.


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