since version 2.9.7

Make some letters appear in a larger font at the beginning of the paragraph.

Child elements


Parent elements



color (text, optional, since version 2.9.0)

Set the color of the initial. Defaults to black.

fontface (text, optional)

Deprecated. Use fontfamily instead.

fontfamily (text, optional)

Choose the font family. Only »Regular« shape is used at the moment.

padding-bottom (length, optional, since version 4.1.25)

Insert space bottom of the initial.

padding-left (length, optional)

Insert space left of the initial.

padding-right (length, optional)

Insert space right of the initial.

padding-top (length, optional, since version 4.1.25)

Insert space top of the initial.


    <Initial fontfamily="Large" padding-right="2pt">
      <Value select="'A'"/>
    <Value>certain king had a beautiful garden,
    and in the garden stood a tree which bore golden
ref initial en


Make sure you set the font face for the surrounding Paragraph to get the spacing right (it defaults to text).

See also