This is an experimental technology
Check the Browser compatibility table carefully before using this in production.

The initial-letter CSS property sets styling for dropped, raised, and sunken initial letters.

/* Keyword values */
initial-letter: normal;

/* Numeric values */
initial-letter: 1.5;    /* Initial letter occupies 1.5 lines */
initial-letter: 3.0;    /* Initial letter occupies 3 lines */
initial-letter: 3.0 2;  /* Initial letter occupies 3 lines and
                           sinks 2 lines */

/* Global values */
initial-letter: inherit;
initial-letter: initial;
initial-letter: unset;

Initial valuenormal
Applies to::first-letter pseudo-elements and inline-level first child of a block container
Inheritedno
Mediavisual
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

Syntax

The keyword value normal, or a <number> optionally followed by an <integer>.

Values

normal
No special initial-letter effect. Text behaves as normal.
<number>
Defines the size of the initial letter, in terms of how many lines it occupies. Negative values are not allowed.
<integer>
Defines the number of lines the initial letter should sink when the size of it is given. Values must be greater than zero. If omitted, it duplicates the size value, floored to the nearest positive whole number.

Formal syntax

normal | [ <number> <integer>? ]

Example

CSS content

.normal {
  -webkit-initial-letter: normal;
  initial-letter: normal;
}

.onefive {
  -webkit-initial-letter: 1.5;
  initial-letter: 1.5;
}

.three {
  -webkit-initial-letter: 3.0;
  initial-letter: 3.0;
}

HTML content

<p class="normal">Initial letter is normal</p>
<p class="onefive">Initial letter occupies 1.5 lines</p>
<p class="three">Initial letter occupies 3 lines</p>

Output

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
CSS Inline Layout
The definition of 'initial-letter' in that specification.
Working Draft Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
Basic support
Experimental
Chrome No support NoEdge ? Firefox No support No
Notes
No support No
Notes
Notes See bug 1223880
IE No support NoOpera No support NoSafari Full support 9WebView Android No support NoChrome Android No support NoEdge Mobile ? Firefox Android No support No
Notes
No support No
Notes
Notes See bug 1223880
Opera Android No support NoSafari iOS Full support 9Samsung Internet Android No support No

Legend

Full support  
Full support
No support  
No support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown
Experimental. Expect behavior to change in the future.
Experimental. Expect behavior to change in the future.
See implementation notes.
See implementation notes.

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: ddbeck,