They’re been around since the 9th century when they were richly illustrated, painted in bright colors and gilded into Bibles. And since then, they’ve been incorporated into magazines, newspapers, white papers and anything else with large amounts of text.

Drop Caps

Whatever document you’re designing, you can give it a huge visual branding boost through the use of Drop Caps.

InDesign Is Built For Drop Caps

The good news is that InDesign already has built in functionality to create these so no crazy jerry-rigging like you need to do in Microsoft Word or other programs to get it to work.

Learn How

In today’s tutorial, I’ll walk you through in less than 5 minutes how to create your own Drop Caps.
This is another video, in a new tutorial series on how to create online Magazines.

Learn how to create this layout from scratch.

planner open style 5

Want to learn how to create Drop Caps using Adobe InDesign? Let me show you in less than 5 minutes with a few quick steps. Drop Caps are those beautiful flairs that help your documents stand out, look beautiful and create a great first impression.


  • 1:00 1 | Start with body of text in paragraph format
  • 1:21 2 | Select the Type Tool
  • 1:27 3 | Highlight the paragraph you want to add the Drop Cap to
  • 1:32 4 | Open Paragraph Styles – using the flyout menu
  • 2:05 5 | Create a New Paragraph Style
  • 2:15 6 | Go to Drop Cap & Nested Styles
  • 3:15 PRO TIP #1
  • 3:40 PRO TIP #2


Let’s talk about how to create those beautiful drop caps that you see in Adobe InDesign, that you see in magazines, that you see in newspaper articles. Those are all created in Adobe InDesign and it’s pretty simple and it adds a lot of flare and a lot of style to your word document and I don’t mean Microsoft Word, just to a text document I guess I should say, or to a magazine layout or to a list that you have or to a workbook or an eBook that you’re creating. Let’s go ahead and learn how to do that today.

Hi, everyone. I’m Lisa from Pretty Fabulous and I help online businesses to create beautiful digital downloads using Adobe InDesign. If that sounds like you or is something that you might be interested in, make sure to hit the subscribe button below and I post new videos every Monday and Thursday.

The first thing you’re going to do to create a drop cap is you are going to need some texts so that you can create the drop cap inside there. Now, this is kind of a … Well, it’s a very simple magazine layout. We have two columns of text, and we are simply going to add a drop cap to that first paragraph just to style it and make it a little more interesting. The first thing you’re going to do is you’re just going to select that type tool and we just want to hire, hire, we want to highlight that first paragraph because that’s the only place we’re going to be putting that drop cap in. Now, you’re going to go over to paragraph styles and you’ll see the flyout menu.

Now, if you don’t see paragraph styles on your right, don’t panic. It just means your workspace is set up a little differently. Go over to window and make sure that text, type and tables is selected and you should see paragraph and then you could see paragraph style. Alternatively, you could just go to workspace and make sure typography is selected and that will make the paragraph show up there, the paragraph styles show up there as well.

All right. All you’re going to do is we’re going to create a new paragraph style. We’re going to click this “create new style” here at the bottom. Once I have this highlighted, I’m going to double click it and I’m going to drop down here to the section that says “drop cap and nested styles.” Now, I want to make sure that the preview button is selected, so you can check that, toggle that on and off.

Over here, I am simply going to say that I want to create, let’s say, three lines of my drop cap. I just want the first paragraph. That’s what this means over here. Sorry, the first character. If I said two characters, it would take two. If I said three, it would take three. But that really defeats the purpose of the drop cap and it’s not as pretty. I like this look with the three lines that it has taken up so you can see one, two, three. If I were to select four, it would make it a little bigger. But this is only a five line paragraph so that would look a little odd. I’m going to go ahead and say “okay.”

Now another thing with drop caps is usually want the entire article for a magazine article in a sans-serif font and you want your actual drop cap in a serif font. Over here, I’m going to select Didot, and I am actually going to change the color, too, to help it stand out just a little more so I’ll make that bright pink. Now I have a drop cap inside of here. You can go through and you can do this for any other paragraph, too, just to help it stand out and we’ve already defined that paragraph style so we can go ahead and just click the paragraph style and you’ll see that drop cap will show up right away. Now, if you did want to skip this step where you had to select the Didot, you could create a character style but, quite honestly, it’s just one letter. It’s not a big deal. Well, I guess it is a big deal if you want to change colors. We’ll make this pink again. That just breaks up your text and makes it a little prettier.

I hope you found that helpful. I have another tutorial on how to create a digital magazine and I have a lot of additional magazine tutorials coming up. Make sure you hit the subscribe button if you are interested. All right. Bye.


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