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.
Drop cap decorative lettering is used to highlight a framed quote.

Add a drop cap in one step

With the Type tool, insert a cursor anywhere in the first line. Click More Options (three dots) in the Paragraph section of the Properties panel. 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).

Specify the drop cap height by typing the number of lines high the letter should be in the Paragraph > More Options menu.

Make your drop cap jump off the page

In the Character section of the Properties panel, change the drop cap’s appearance using the text formatting controls. Try changing the font, style, and fill color.

We tried these variations:

Drop cap text options such as font, color, and style are changed in the Character section of the Properties panel.

Add a modern twist

With the Type tool, select your drop cap letter, and choose Type > Create Outlines so you can apply some effects without affecting the rest of the text. Select the drop cap with the Selection tool, and then locate fx in the Appearance section of the Properties, and experiment with effects. We applied a hard-edged drop shadow in a contrasting color.

Decorative effects such as drop shadow, bevel and emboss, and outer glow may be added in the Properties panel, Appearance tab

Add some padding between your drop cap and text

With the Type tool selected, insert your cursor between the drop cap and the next letter, and increase Kerning (space between consecutive letters) in the Character section.

Kerning, spacing between letters, is added to between the drop cap and the paragraph.

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.

Fill a drop cap with colorful artwork by selecting the letter, choosing Object > Content > Graphic and placing the image file

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

08/30/2021

Adobe Stock Contributor: Natalie Board

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