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Have you ever read a book, or a fancy brochure and noticed that the first letter of a chapter is really big (and goes across a few lines) and the rest of the text looks normal? That is called a “Drop Cap”, and you can insert one really easily in Word 2007.
How do I insert a drop cap in Word 2007?
Firstly, you need some text in your document. Generally you would only add a drop cap after you have written your document. Here is an example of some plain text that I have inserted into the document
Secondly, you need to find the Insert Drop Cap button. Go to the “Insert” tab on the Word 2007 Ribbon, then go across the the “Text” group. You will find the “Drop Cap” button there. If you click the button there are three options, plus an options menu.
Obviously if you have Drop Cap set to “None”… you will not have a drop cap. If you click on “Dropped”, you will get…
Pretty cool huh! Now your document looks like a professionally published book (well almost!). The other Drop Cap option is “In Margin”, and basically drops the first letter into the margin, which looks something like this…
Which one looks best? Dropped or In Margin? I don’t know, you need to decide on that!
Drop Cap Options
There are a few options you can play with when creating a drop cap in Word 2007. For starters, you can make the drop cap a different font, make it span more (or less) lines, and set the distance it sits away from the text of your document.
If you click on “Drop Cap Options” in the Drop Cap menu, you get this dialog box to the left. The options under position are just the same as those that I have mentioned earlier in this post. Dropped means that the first letter of the paragraph will appear larger than the rest of the text, and displace the text a little. In margin, the first letter will like larger than the rest of the text, but sit in the margin.
The Options section is where you can have some fun. Your first choice is what font you want the drop cap to be. Depending on how many fonts you have installed on your computer, this could be a very hard decision. Unfortunately we don’t have live preview here (Note to Microsoft – Please, please, please, add live preview to the drop cap options menu!), so you might have to use a little trial and error.
The second option is “Lines to Drop.” This basically lets you choose how big your drop cap is. The smallest you would want to go is 2 lines (otherwise it wouldn’t be a drop cap!) and the most would depend totally on the size of your font. Generally 3 looks good, but I have seen some very cool drop caps work over 10 lines, with a small body font.
Finally the last option is the “Distance from text”. This is handy if you want to put a little space between your drop cap and your body text. Again you don’t want too much of a space here, otherwise it will be difficult to read the first word!
Here is an example of my custom drop cap. I chose “Blackadder ITC” as my font (it is one of those really really old curly fonts!, lines to drop as 3, and distance from text as 0.2cm. This is what I got…
So there you have it – a quick start guide to how to insert a Drop Cap in Word 2007! Just be careful not to go overboard, drop caps look good when used well, but if you go crazy, your document will look very, very ugly!
’till next time
[tags]Desktop Publishing, Word 2007, Tutorial, Help, Guide, Drop Cap[/tags]
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