First Letter of Each Chapter Size Larger

Yo techies! :open_mouth: Found this on lower decks :confused:

First Letter of Each Chapter Size Larger
by JHDOVE on Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:58 pm

I love Scrivener 2.1 and have found it rather easy to use. That said, I have been unable to consistently retain the larger font size used for the first letter of each chapter. (As found in many ebooks on the iPAD)

I am compiling using ePUB, and when viewed on my iPAD all type is the same size. On one occasion it worked as intended, but never again. I am using 30 points for the first letter and 12 points for the remainder of the chapter.

My latest novel is nearly complete but would like to use this feature. Anyone know what I did right once or what I am doing wrong now?

Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:32 pm
Platform: Mac

(Thanks for the scavenge, Vic-K!)

[size=200]I[/size] would check your compile settings, switch to All Settings via the tab, and then click on the Formatting option pane. You’re looking for a setting at the top called “Override text and notes formatting”. That will homogenise your book so that it has one style, which is useful if you’ve got a hodge-podge in the editor, or have typed up your book in an eye-friendly font, but want to use something else for output. In this case, it is causing your custom font size for the drop-cap to be normalised with the rest of the paragraph. The best way to handle this, and also the more labour intensive, is to wrap each drop-cap in a Preserve Formatting block. This can be done by selecting the letter and using the Format/Formatting/Preserve Formatting menu command. You’ll know you’ve got it applied correctly when there is a pale blue rectangle around the letter, with a dashed border. That way you can keep a cohesive look and feel to your document but still use custom formatting elements where desired. The easiest way, if you’ve typed things up the way you want them to look, would of course be to just switch off Override in that panel.

Now I stress that there are two caveats:

  1. Scrivener is probably not the best tool for making drop-caps. Properly typeset drop-caps should be top aligned with the upper extent of the first line, and descend into two or three lines of text below, with the remaining lines in the paragraph flowing around it. This kind of advanced formatting is not possible in Scrivener, so the best you can do is have a capital letter extending way up above the first-line. You’ll make typographers cringe, but it works.
  2. While this will definitely produce an e-book with a large first letter, that is no guarantee that every e-book reader will display the character properly. Adobe Digital Editions will, it is pretty liberal about using the e-book’s stylesheets; I think iBooks will show it correctly; but I don’t know about the Nook or other ePub readers.