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Successful deployment of drop caps in Publisher seems to be heavily font dependent. Usually the goal is to get the cap line of the initial to match the cap line of main text (i.e., if line begins Harry Houdini, the top of the large first H and the top of the regular sized second H should align). The technical challenge is that cap height varies from font to font.

I’m guessing that someone at Affinity looked at, say, 50 common fonts, found the average cap height, and made their drop cap scaling formula based on that. Unfortunately, this means for fonts that differ enough from that average, the drop caps look obviously wrong.

image.thumb.png.1e6f02df93ee4a14671a79334d883b01.png

In Adobe InDesign, this can be corrected for by changing the type size of the character style assigned to the drop cap within the paragraph style. If the body text is 9.6 pt, setting the drop cap style to 9.8 pt might finesse the drop cap into proper alignment. Unfortunately, this trick doesn’t seem to work in Publisher. Does anyone have an alternate workaround to this problem?

Cheers!

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For a single-use situation, select the drop-cap and adjust its Baseline using the Character panel.

For a multiple-use situation, create a Character Text Style with an adjusted Baseline, and specify that Text Style in the Drop-Cap part of the Paragraph Text Style definition:

image.png.c2e524f97ad1f023a44c9cf007690366.png

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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Thank you for that thought. The first half of your suggestion works…but only at technical level. I can get the glyph to move—but it the side effect is misalignment at the base. To my eye, this feels like a wash at best and possibly a net loss.

The second half of your suggestion doesn’t work æsthetically or technically as far as I can tell. The baseline shift attribute of the character style seems to be ignored as wholly as the type size attribute is (assuming I’m applying it as you prescribe; the below screen cap shows the settings for the character style I have applied to the drop caps within the paragraph style).

image.png.4c3af7db4db24a0facdf5e891bd545a2.png

 

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8 minutes ago, jameslucas said:

The second half of your suggestion doesn’t work æsthetically or technically as far as I can tell. The baseline shift attribute of the character style seems to be ignored as wholly as the type size attribute is (assuming I’m applying it as you prescribe; the below screen cap shows the settings for the character style I have applied to the drop caps within the paragraph style).

You may have to create the Character Text Style before you create the Paragraph Text Style. Or remove any existing Character Text Style from the Paragraph Text Style, then respecify it.

15 minutes ago, jameslucas said:

The first half of your suggestion works…but only at technical level. I can get the glyph to move—but it the side effect is misalignment at the base. To my eye, this feels like a wash at best and possibly a net loss.

True, with just adjusting the Baseline you will align the top as you want, but you've moved the bottom. You might try combining that with an adjustment (in the Character Text Style) to the Vertical Scale:

image.png.de83666d431c748ce121f5e5d8e578aa.png

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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31 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

You may have to create the Character Text Style before you create the Paragraph Text Style. Or remove any existing Character Text Style from the Paragraph Text Style, then respecify it.

Ha—that is exactly the kind of hack so counterintuitive that I’d never think to try it without the aid of message boards and wise souls who inhabit them. I played with too many variables at once to know what cajoled things into responding, but I can, apparently—sometimes—get Publisher to honor the character style’s positional attributes.

And scaling is a good call. I applied 104% to both vertical and horizontal axes, and this is looking good! Thank you!

image.png.5818e57c712074357db6accabe0a9c20.png

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You're welcome.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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