What is Drop Words?
“Drop Words” is a technique used extensively in Hebrew typesetting. Hebrew drop words differ from standard drop caps in a number of ways:
- They are applied to the whole word, while standard drop caps are generally applied to just the first letter.
- They are used on (almost) every paragraph. This is something which makes manual setting of the drops unpractical.
- The drops are “virtual drops”. With normal drop caps, the characters which are dropped are enlarged to take up the number of lines for which they are set. Drop words, although often slightly larger than the rest of the text, only take up the first line. The line below is indented to start directly below the second word.
Creating all this formatting manually is a very tedious process. This plug-in was created to automate the process of creating these virtual drop words. There is a script originally written by Dave Saunders, and ultimately improved upon by us which helps in the automation. The script can be downloaded from here. However you may find it cumbersome and inefficient to use in production work, especially when there is a need to update them at a later point in time. Additionally the script can take a relatively long time when run on long documents. Drop Words was completely re-written to enable much more extensive automation and ease of use, as well as being very quick to run. The typographical quality of the dynamic drop words created by the Drop Words plug-in is also superior to that of the script.
Drop Words enables creation of “drop words” in one of two ways:
- Using the drop caps feature of InDesign. When this method is used, the paragraph styles are defined with a regular drop cap of 2 lines, and the plugin will apply the drop cap to the correct number of characters. The character style of the drop cap must also be adjusted to make the size of the drop caps smaller and raise the baseline.
- Drop Words has another method of creating drop words where it moves the first word (or words) into an inline frame and correctly spaces the second line according to the size of the first word. This method requires no setup for the paragraph style, but it does require an additional paragraph style for the the inline frame.
Each method has advantages, but we believe the second method is superior. Please refer to the documentation for more details.