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[css-inline] Over-constrained alignment of initial caps in figure

From: Cramer, Dave <Dave.Cramer@hbgusa.com>
Date: Tue, 6 May 2014 18:57:13 +0000
To: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CF8E88F2.4B285%dave.cramer@hbgusa.com>
I'm trying to understand a (unnumbered) figure in Section 5.2 of the
editor's draft of the CSS Line Layout Module [1]. The image is
dc.lowercase.gif, and shows two different drop caps using lowercase "g"s.
The right-hand image (am I allowed to say that on www-style?) shows a drop
cap along with the following text:

>Example of drop cap using a lower case character with baseline alignment
>point on the third line
>and an additional constraint on the text-after-edge.

Is this over-constrained? The figure seems to show three alignment points:

[1] x-height of drop initial aligned with text-before-edge of rest of
first line

[2] alphabetic baseline of drop initial aligned with baseline of 3rd line
of text

[3] text-after-edge of drop initial aligned with baseline of 4th line of

I don't see how that's possible, given that [1] plus either [2] or [3]
would completely define the size and vertical position of the glyph. And I
don't see how the spec would allow defining two separate "after"

Without that additional constraint I'm guessing the CSS here would be:

p::first-letter {
drop-initial-value: 3;
drop-initial-size: auto;
drop-initial-before-align: text-before-edge;
drop-initial-before-adjust: ???; /* looks like x-height of drop cap font*/
drop-initial-after-align: baseline;
drop-initial-after-adjust: alphabetic;

Did anyone ever implement this? Because of the working draft from 2002 on
TR, these features are heavily documented on various websites and in
books, but I haven't found any evidence of them in actual browsers.


Dave Cramer
Hachette Livre

[1] http://dev.w3.org/csswg/css-inline/#DropInitial

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Received on Tuesday, 6 May 2014 18:58:00 UTC

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