I want to create a nested style, which I could apply to all of the first uppercase letters within the paragraph. For example: "Joe goes to school. Lara works at home. George sleeps a lot". I want those first uppercase letters "J", "L", "G" to be different, want to add some rule which will not apply to other letters in that first word of the sentence.

How can I set that style? I've already created the character style which I want, but I can't figure out the rule of the nested style.

2 Answers 2


Use a GREP style instead of a nested style. In the Paragraph Style Options, select GREP Style. Apply your character style where it says "Apply Style:" Set "To text:" to \<\u. Make sure ligatures are turned off or it will apply to second letters where ligatures are applied.

  • Thank you, did try this too, but no desirable effect. I'll do it manually, that seems like the "fastest" way :) Regards
    – Neno
    Oct 4, 2016 at 9:20
  • @Neno Grep styles should do exactly what you want (and are much better than doing it manually, because a style will be consistently applied and easier to maintain than manual formatting). Was the issue that you couldn't get the grep style to work or that that feature doesn't do what you are trying to do? Oct 4, 2016 at 15:54
  • It didn't do what I wanted it to do. But, I've already changed it manually. What I wanted was to make uppercase a little smaller than it's supposed to be. The book is written in small caps, but first uppercase letters were a bit too large, so I made them smaller using the character style. Still, I'll definitely explore further more Grep styles, will surely need them again. Thank you very much.
    – Neno
    Oct 4, 2016 at 18:19
  • @Neno If you're using a font that doesn't have separate small-caps glyphs but uses InDesign’s faked small caps, then an easier way to do this would be to simply change the small caps settings to make the ‘small’ letters a bit bigger compared to the x height, and then make the overall size a bit smaller. You won't have to apply any additional styles or change anything manually, then. Jul 1, 2017 at 11:46
  • I can attest that JSON's answer will give you exactly what you asked for.
    – 13ruce
    Aug 30, 2017 at 12:09

Here's a global way to achieve the desired effect without the need to build styles. If you want to control the relationship between capital and lower case letters in small caps, you can go to Edit>Preferences>Advanced Type> and edit the Small Cap % value. This is a global change that will affect the entire document.

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