W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > September 1996

Re: New CSS1 draft available

From: David Perrell <davidp@earthlink.net>
Date: Sun, 22 Sep 1996 17:51:01 -0700
Message-Id: <199609230051.RAA11721@austria.it.earthlink.net>
To: <lee@sq.com>
Cc: <www-style@w3.org>

lee@sq.com wrote:
> It is not possible to use CSS to generte a drop cap properly. 
> Forget it.  Unless the spec is changed, you don't have enough
> available to specify a drop cap for anything other than the single
> you are using at the time, with the fonts you are seeing at that
> Even with embedded/referenced fonts, you still can't do it.

By your reasoning PDF files with initial caps shouldn't work (they do).
But I generally agree with you. The current 'first-letter' is nothing
more than a span with pre-defined limitations. BUT you don't go far
enough. You describe a very limited case of drop caps. What of the case
when the designer wants the top of the cap to be a specific distance
above the height of the first line of text?

If 'first-letter' is to be automated, it needs at least two new
parameters: Depth == distance from the baseline of the first line of
text to the baseline of the cap. Height == distance from the top of the
caps in the first line of text to the top of cap in the 'first-letter'.
Both parameters would default to zero, which would make 'first-letter'
no different than the text.

For a three line drop cap in the case of 12/14pt text, height = 0,
depth = 28pt. Still simple and perfectly accurate, but a helluva lot
more versatile than a spec limited to standardized drop caps and
measured in lines.

The only consideration remaining is the margin below the cap, which
should probably default to a negative value that equates to the
distance from the bottom of the first-letter's line-height to the

David Perrell
Received on Sunday, 22 September 1996 20:51:56 UTC

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