Drop caps only on first paragraph

Hi evereyone,

I have a «FirstParagraph» custom paragraph style just for drop caps on it, once I want these only in the beginning of the text. Now I’ve got a problem… I need to configure spacing above and below the «MainText» custom paragraph styles but without “space between paragraphs of the same style”. Since «FirstParagraph» isn’t the same I have now a space I don’t want between this and the next «MainText» paragraph.

There is a way to configure one drop cap for the whole text (without a custom style only for the first paragraph)?

Or any other ideas of solution?

What I do not understand is why use a style in this case? If there is only one paragraph apply direct formatting allows to have both the drop cap and the “normal” management of the spacing

Off topic: I think this is the first time I do not advocate using a style :slight_smile:


I tried various tricks but Add space between paragraphs of the same style seems to be strictly based on style name. Consequently, I had to work around it to simulate the automatic built-in drop cap.

  • Insert>Frame in the paragraph to be decorated with a drop cap

  • In Type tab

    • set Size (width and height) to minimum and check both Autosize boxes
    • set Anchor To paragraph
    • adjust Position horizontal Left and vertical Top, both to Paragraph text area (drop-down menus at right)
  • In Wrap tab, select Parallel and adjust Spacing to define the gap between your drop cap and text; you’re likely to set Top and *Left to zero and Right and Bottom to some small distance

  • Suppress default border from Borders tab (or define one to your taste)

Type the character or word to become your drop cap inside the frame and remove it from the running paragraph.

Tune the appearance of the dropcap by adjusting the attributes of the paragraph style inside the frame. By default, this style is named Frame Contents but you are encouraged to define your own. Alternatively, you can define a character style for the first character in case you want very elaborate formatting inside your dropcap frame. The dedicated paragraph style option seems to me the right track.

Note: the built-in dropcap feature automatically adjusts the size of the dropcap until the paragraph exceeds the line limit. This effect is not present in my workaround. So, you’ll have to play manually with font size.

Aesthetically, it is more pleasant to have space between paragraphs rather than a “heavy” block. I don’t use the no space between same style paragraphs because it is not versatile enough. What I’d really prefer would be the definition of inter same-paragraph spacing in addition to above/below the group rather than no space at all. Remember than the invention of “illumination” in the Middle Ages, i.e. wasting expensive paper space for areas void of writing, was the beginning of artistic and nice looking books.

If this answer helped you, please accept it by clicking the check mark :heavy_check_mark: to the left and, karma permitting, upvote it. If this resolves your problem, close the question, that will help other people with the same question.

Why do you have space above and below paragraph? It’s not enough to set space only below? in that case, set your “drop cap” paragraph to have no space and everything will work. If you add space above to separate the first paragraph from the heading, just add more space below the heading. Same for frames and other objects: there is no need to use both, above and below space, in fact I’ll try to avoid that situation, using one or the other.

There are cases where both spaces are convenient. Take for instance Heading 1 where space above makes the heading outstanding from the top margin (or header) and space below gives extra space before the first Text Body paragraph. You can thus very easily and conveniently make your headings visible from common text, even in higher levels, when font size a nearly the same as text.

For headings, sure, but for text body I don’t think it’s necessary.

YMMV. It’s all a matter of organisation and feeling comfortable with it. I prefer asymmetric spacing above and below so that when I mix paras with different font sizes or emphasis there is some automatic trade-off without the need for direct-formatting adjustment (which is the root of all evil, as you know ;-)).