What is the most simple way to make a drop cap inside Frame Maker ?
Either as a graphic text letter, or a flow text letter in a text frame, either inside an Anchored Frame, Run into Paragraph, Alignment Left.
There might also be a way using a Run-In paragraph format, but I don't see an immediate way to use Character Format, as it won't provide the baseline alignment control needed.
Update: played with Run-In a bit, including negative spacings, and haven't found a way to get FM to not use the dropcap's baseline for the continuing para.
Personally, I dislike DCs, and never use them in my own work. If a client wanted it, I'd likely use the anchored frame hack.
If you can get it to work, a further consideration is output workflow. Having it render to PDF or print would be no problem, but it appears that HTML/CSS has no convention for DC yet, and even if it did, getting the FM hack to flow to to it would be a challenge.
In fact, I would like to find something as simple and powerful as in InDesign.
InDesign and FrameMaker are both page layout applications from Adobe but are used for different types of documents. I work with both daily: both for layout work and well as a certified instructor. Both programs are powerful and share some of the same features but certain jobs call for one over the other. I will agree that a drop cap is much easier to define in InDesign but there are things that FrameMaker can do (i.e. a run-in head—so that two paragraphs can be on the same line) that InDesign can't. I'm one of the lucky few who knows both at a high-level so I can look at a job and pick the right application to lay it out quickly and efficiently.
I teach drop caps in my advanced FrameMaker class in a chapter on anchored frames. Here's my approach:
I use this method in a personal project. It is tedious but the best way I've found to 'simulate' dropcaps in FrameMaker.
Here is an approach I have used in the past. It assumes that you aren't using subscripted characters anywhere else in your document. And it takes some hand work to get the rest of the lines to run around the cap. I actually typeset a Bible with FrameMaker and had 1189 of these to do!
So Rick, how did you get the text to run around the drop? And you know InDesign. Wouldn't this have been a compelling reason to choose it over FrameMaker?
For most characters, I put in a soft-return and a tab character. InDesign would have been better, but at the time I wanted FrameMaker for running headers/footers. I eventually found a good running header/footer add-on for InDesign.
Here is a way that the run-arounds could be easily scripted:
re: It assumes that you aren't using subscripted characters anywhere else in your document.
And if there are, they might be handled by using the Unicode native subs: ₀₁₂₃₄₅₆₇₈₉₊₋ₙ