Tracing its origin to old religious texts, a drop cap is a letter at the start of a paragraph that’s larger than the rest of the text. Fast-forward to modern times; add a drop cap to your text to grab attention and add some serious style to your page in Adobe InDesign CC.

With the Type tool, insert a cursor anywhere in the line. In Paragraph Formatting Controls, type a number in Drop Cap Number of Lines to increase the drop cap’s height. Make it as large as you like; we made our drop cap as tall as our poem (nine lines).  


Click Character Formatting Controls and change the drop cap’s formatting — try changing the font, style, and fill color. We tried these variations:


Next, choose Type > Create Outlines so you can apply some effects without affecting the rest of the text. Locate fx in the Control panel and experiment with effects. We applied a hard-edged drop shadow in a contrasting color.


To add space around the drop cap, insert your cursor between the drop cap and the next letter and increase Kerning (space between consecutive letters) in the Control panel.


Instead of a drop shadow, you could fill your drop cap with colorful artwork. Select the outlined drop cap with the Selection tool, and then choose Object > Content > Graphic. Now choose File > Place and select any vector drawing, pattern, or photo to enhance your drop cap.


Now that you know how to make a distinctive drop cap, practice these techniques to add personality to your text.


Adobe Stock contributor: Natalie Board

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