Using LaTeX Lettrine Package to Create Drop Caps


Writing the previous entry reminding me that I never posted the following solution.

While working on my book, The Open Laboratory 2007, I typeset everything in LaTeX. One of the features that I included was a drop cap at the beginning of each entry in the anthology, using the Lettrine package.

However, I could find no way to automate the process in LaTeX, requiring the \lettrine command to be included at the beginning of each entry. This resulted in a few entries missing the drop cap because their omission was not caught in our short development time. I worked on the book a while after it was published, fixing some errata that I found. During this time, I finally developed a way to apply the drop cap automatically to the entries. Here is the solution, simplified a bit.

% Required Packages

% Setup lettrine
\input EileenBl.fd

% The Magic: finds first letter and first word in the proceeding text
% and passes them to lettrine

% Setup environment `entry' to use `entry*' with a drop cap
% Setup environment `entry*' so that lettrine can be manually specified if needed

This solution will not always work if the entry begins with something other than text; markup and figures can confuse it. However, for the few instances when I need to specify \lettrine manually, I can fall back to the entry* environment.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Reed A. Cartwright published on February 23, 2009 8:09 PM.

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