Drop cap with NSAttributedString

I would like to do a drop cap first character in a UILabel using the attributedText NSAttributedString property only. Like this:

(source: interpretationbydesign.com)

I have experimented with adjusting the base line for the range of the first character to a negative value, and it works for aligning the top of the first char with the top of the rest of the first line. But I have not found any way to make the other lines flow to the right of the drop capped character.

Can this be solved using NSAttributedString only, or do I have to split the string and render it myself using Core Text?

Text View with Drop Caps UIView subclass which , CoreText cannot do drop caps because it consists of lines made up of glyph runs. A drop cap would cover multiple lines which is not supported. To achieve this  Misspelled text that is visibly marked as misspelled (NSNumber as a Boolean value).If you’re implementing a custom text-editing app, use NSAccessibility Marked Misspelled Text Attribute to ensure that VoiceOver properly identifies misspelled text to users.

As everyone else mentioned, it's not possible to do this with only NSAttributedString. Nikolai has the right approach, using CTFrameSetters. However it is possible to tell the framesetter to render text in a specific area (i.e. defined by a CGPath).

You'll have to create 2 framesetters, one for the drop cap and the other for the rest of the text.

Then, you grab the frame of the drop cap and build a CGPathRef that runs around the space of the frame of the drop cap.

Then, you render both framesetters into your view.

I've created a sample project with an object called DropCapView which is a subclass of UIView. This view renders the first character and wraps the remaining text around it.

It looks like this:

There are quite a few steps, so I've added a link to a github project hosting the example. There are comments in the project that will help you along.

DropCap project on GitHub

You'll have to play around with the shape of the textBox element (i.e. the CGPathRef) for padding around the edges of the view, and to tighten it up to the drop cap letter as well.

Here are the guts of the drawing method:

- (void)drawRect:(CGRect)rect {
    //make sure that all the variables exist and are non-nil
    NSAssert(_text != nil, @"text is nil");
    NSAssert(_textColor != nil, @"textColor is nil");
    NSAssert(_fontName != nil, @"fontName is nil");
    NSAssert(_dropCapFontSize > 0, @"dropCapFontSize is <= 0");
    NSAssert(_textFontSize > 0, @"textFontSize is <=0");

    //convert the text aligment from NSTextAligment to CTTextAlignment
    CTTextAlignment ctTextAlignment = NSTextAlignmentToCTTextAlignment(_textAlignment);

    //create a paragraph style
    CTParagraphStyleSetting paragraphStyleSettings[] = { {
            .spec = kCTParagraphStyleSpecifierAlignment,
            .valueSize = sizeof ctTextAlignment,
            .value = &ctTextAlignment

    CFIndex settingCount = sizeof paragraphStyleSettings / sizeof *paragraphStyleSettings;
    CTParagraphStyleRef style = CTParagraphStyleCreate(paragraphStyleSettings, settingCount);

    //create two fonts, with the same name but differing font sizes
    CTFontRef dropCapFontRef = CTFontCreateWithName((__bridge CFStringRef)_fontName, _dropCapFontSize, NULL);
    CTFontRef textFontRef = CTFontCreateWithName((__bridge CFStringRef)_fontName, _textFontSize, NULL);

    //create a dictionary of style elements for the drop cap letter
    NSDictionary *dropCapDict = [NSDictionary dictionaryWithObjectsAndKeys:
                                (__bridge id)dropCapFontRef, kCTFontAttributeName,
                                _textColor.CGColor, kCTForegroundColorAttributeName,
                                style, kCTParagraphStyleAttributeName,
                                @(_dropCapKernValue) , kCTKernAttributeName,
    //convert it to a CFDictionaryRef
    CFDictionaryRef dropCapAttributes = (__bridge CFDictionaryRef)dropCapDict;

    //create a dictionary of style elements for the main text body
    NSDictionary *textDict = [NSDictionary dictionaryWithObjectsAndKeys:
                                 (__bridge id)textFontRef, kCTFontAttributeName,
                                 _textColor.CGColor, kCTForegroundColorAttributeName,
                                 style, kCTParagraphStyleAttributeName,
    //convert it to a CFDictionaryRef
    CFDictionaryRef textAttributes = (__bridge CFDictionaryRef)textDict;

    //clean up, because the dictionaries now have copies

    //create an attributed string for the dropcap
    CFAttributedStringRef dropCapString = CFAttributedStringCreate(kCFAllocatorDefault,
                                                                   (__bridge CFStringRef)[_text substringToIndex:1],

    //create an attributed string for the text body
    CFAttributedStringRef textString = CFAttributedStringCreate(kCFAllocatorDefault,
                                                                (__bridge CFStringRef)[_text substringFromIndex:1],

    //create an frame setter for the dropcap
    CTFramesetterRef dropCapSetter = CTFramesetterCreateWithAttributedString(dropCapString);

    //create an frame setter for the dropcap
    CTFramesetterRef textSetter = CTFramesetterCreateWithAttributedString(textString);

    //clean up

    //get the size of the drop cap letter
    CFRange range;
    CGSize maxSizeConstraint = CGSizeMake(200.0f, 200.0f);
    CGSize dropCapSize = CTFramesetterSuggestFrameSizeWithConstraints(dropCapSetter,
                                                                      CFRangeMake(0, 1),

    //create the path that the main body of text will be drawn into
    //i create the path based on the dropCapSize
    //adjusting to tighten things up (e.g. the *0.8,done by eye)
    //to get some padding around the edges of the screen
    //you could go to +5 (x) and self.frame.size.width -5 (same for height)
    CGMutablePathRef textBox = CGPathCreateMutable();
    CGPathMoveToPoint(textBox, nil, dropCapSize.width, 0);
    CGPathAddLineToPoint(textBox, nil, dropCapSize.width, dropCapSize.height * 0.8); 
    CGPathAddLineToPoint(textBox, nil, 0, dropCapSize.height * 0.8);
    CGPathAddLineToPoint(textBox, nil, 0, self.frame.size.height);
    CGPathAddLineToPoint(textBox, nil, self.frame.size.width, self.frame.size.height);
    CGPathAddLineToPoint(textBox, nil, self.frame.size.width, 0);

    //create a transform which will flip the CGContext into the same orientation as the UIView
    CGAffineTransform flipTransform = CGAffineTransformIdentity;
    flipTransform = CGAffineTransformTranslate(flipTransform,
    flipTransform = CGAffineTransformScale(flipTransform, 1, -1);

    //invert the path for the text box
    CGPathRef invertedTextBox = CGPathCreateCopyByTransformingPath(textBox,

    //create the CTFrame that will hold the main body of text
    CTFrameRef textFrame = CTFramesetterCreateFrame(textSetter,
                                                    CFRangeMake(0, 0),

    //create the drop cap text box
    //it is inverted already because we don't have to create an independent cgpathref (like above)
    CGPathRef dropCapTextBox = CGPathCreateWithRect(CGRectMake(_dropCapKernValue/2.0f,
    CTFrameRef dropCapFrame = CTFramesetterCreateFrame(dropCapSetter,
                                                       CFRangeMake(0, 0),

    //draw the frames into our graphic context
    CGContextRef gc = UIGraphicsGetCurrentContext();
    CGContextSaveGState(gc); {
        CGContextConcatCTM(gc, flipTransform);
        CTFrameDraw(dropCapFrame, gc);
        CTFrameDraw(textFrame, gc);
    } CGContextRestoreGState(gc);

P.S. this comes with some inspiration from: https://stackoverflow.com/a/9272955/1218605

Setting drop caps, Setting drop caps. Drop caps are large characters that extend below the normal baseline of the first line of an opening paragraph. Canvas indents the text below​  NSAttributedString(data: data, options: [.documentType: NSAttributedString.DocumentType.html], documentAttributes: nil) { // use your attributed string somehow } Enumerating attributes If you have an attributed string someone else made – for example reading page text from a PDFView – you can loop over all the attributes to figure out where

No, this cannot be done with an NSAttributedString and standard string drawing only.

Since the drop cap is a property of a paragraph the CTParagraphStyle would have to contain the information about the drop cap. The only property in CTParagraphStyle that affects indentation of the start of the paragraph is kCTParagraphStyleSpecifierFirstLineHeadIndent, but that affects the first line only.

There's just no way to tell the CTFramesetter how to calculate the beginnings for the second and more rows.

The only way is to define your own attribute and write code to draw the string using CTFramesetter and CTTypesetter that acknowledge this custom attribute.

release date: online store great quality drop cap , size 40 website for discount promo codes Decorative Drop Cap Images, Stock low cost 100% quality discount shop Drop cap with NSAttributedString - Stack  Introduction to Attributed String Programming Guide. Attributed String Programming Guide describes the attributed string objects, instantiated from the NSAttributedString class or the CFAttributedString Core Foundation opaque type, which manage sets of text attributes, such as font and kerning, that are associated with character strings or individual characters.

If you're using a UITextView you can use textView.textContainer.exclusionPaths as Dannie P suggested here.

Example in Swift:

class WrappingTextVC: UIViewController {
  override func viewDidLoad() {

    let textView = UITextView()
    textView.translatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints = false
    textView.text = "ropcap example. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Mauris aliquam vulputate ex. Fusce interdum ultricies justo in tempus. Sed ornare justo in purus dignissim, et rutrum diam pulvinar. Quisque tristique eros ligula, at dictum odio tempor sed. Fusce non nisi sapien. Donec libero orci, finibus ac libero ac, tristique pretium ex. Aenean eu lorem ut nulla elementum imperdiet. Ut posuere, nulla ut tincidunt viverra, diam massa tincidunt arcu, in lobortis erat ex sed quam. Mauris lobortis libero magna, suscipit luctus lacus imperdiet eu. Ut non dignissim lacus. Vivamus eget odio massa. Aenean pretium eget erat sed ornare. In quis tortor urna. Quisque euismod, augue vel pretium suscipit, magna diam consequat urna, id aliquet est ligula id eros. Duis eget tristique orci, quis porta turpis. Donec commodo ullamcorper purus. Suspendisse et hendrerit mi. Nulla pellentesque semper nibh vitae vulputate. Pellentesque quis volutpat velit, ut bibendum magna. Morbi sagittis, erat rutrum  Suspendisse potenti. Nulla facilisi. Praesent libero est, tincidunt sit amet tempus id, blandit sit amet mi. Morbi sed odio nunc. Mauris lobortis elementum orci, at consectetur nisl egestas a. Pellentesque vel lectus maximus, semper lorem eget, accumsan mi. Etiam semper tellus ac leo porta lobortis."
    textView.backgroundColor = .lightGray
    textView.textColor = .black

    textView.leadingAnchor.constraint(equalTo: view.safeAreaLayoutGuide.leadingAnchor, constant: 20).isActive = true
    textView.trailingAnchor.constraint(equalTo: view.safeAreaLayoutGuide.trailingAnchor, constant: -20).isActive = true
    textView.topAnchor.constraint(equalTo: view.safeAreaLayoutGuide.topAnchor, constant: 20).isActive = true
    textView.bottomAnchor.constraint(equalTo: view.safeAreaLayoutGuide.bottomAnchor, constant: -40).isActive = true

    let dropCap = UILabel()
    dropCap.text = "D"
    dropCap.font = UIFont.boldSystemFont(ofSize: 60)
    dropCap.backgroundColor = .lightText

    textView.textContainer.exclusionPaths = [UIBezierPath(rect: dropCap.frame)]


Full example on github

Programming iOS 8: Dive Deep into Views, View Controllers, and , doesn't work for every font family; instead, you might have to drop down to the level of Core Text. small caps (Figure 102): let desc = UIFontDescriptor(name:"​Didot", size:18) Attributed strings (NSAttributedString and its mutable subclass,​  Drop cap. A drop cap is the where the first character of the first paragraph is made larger, taking up several lines of text or the first few sentences. Drop caps are used in various media, including books, newspaper articles, documents, and webpages. Drop caps are used to add style or grab a reader's attention.

Not a perfect solution, but you should give DTCoreText a try and render your normal NSString as an formatted HTML. Within HTML it is possible to "Drop cap" a letter.

Programming IOS 7, Before iOS 7, you could obtain the small caps Didot font at the level of Core Text, Attributed strings (NSAttributedString and its mutable subclass, NSMutableAt‐ but before iOS 6 they were difficult to use — you had to drop down to the level  Well, Drop Cap is one such feature that enables you to display the first letter of the first paragraph in your document in a large font. This not only helps you embellish your document, but also makes it appear eye-catching. Read on to know how you can add a drop cap to a Word document.

ios - Drop czapkę z NSAttributedString, W ciągu HTML możliwe jest „Drop cap” list. Odpowiedział Nie, nie można tego zrobić z NSAttributedString i standard ciąg rysunek tylko. Ponieważ inicjału jest  Save to Google Drive. If you have a Google account, you can save this code to your Google Drive. Google will ask you to confirm Google Drive access.

iOS Typography: Stop Saying “No” to Designers – RPLabs , Two labels aligned to each other by cap height. NSAttributedString consists of a string of text and one or more attributes applied to one or  The drop caps in 45 versions were too high, resulting in an odd relationship between the drop cap and the text. [3] The drop cap lost styling on the Opera Mini 5.1 (Android 2.2). [4] It shifted up on Mobile Safari 4.0.5 (iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS), resulting in an awkward space below the image. [5]

Convert HTML to NSAttributedString in iOS tags iphone objective-c cocoa-touch core-text nsattributedstring I am using a instance of UIWebView to process some text and color it correctly, it gives the result as HTML but rather than displaying it in the UIWebView I want to display it using Core Text with a NSAttributedString.

  • Can you put a screenshot of what you managed to achieve so far? And the testing code?
  • I use Drop cap strings in my application, but to do it, I used a UIWebView and used HTML to do that effect. I'm not sure it can be done in a UILabel
  • I am not looking to do it with a UILabel, I want to do it with Core Text, but using just a NSAttributesString. Not several frame setters, or a frame setter with a path.
  • As I said, that's not possible with a single attributed string. See my CoreText intro to understand how framesetting works. cocoanetics.com/2011/01/befriending-core-text