w3docs logo

CSS initial-letter Property

The initial-letter property specifies the first letter and the number of lines it occupies.

This property appears in newspapers where the first letter is larger than the rest of the content.

This property has three values: normal, <number>, <integer>.

Negative values are not allowed.
Only Safari supports this property.
Initial Value normal
Applies to ::first-letter pseudo-elements and inline-level first child of a block container.
Inherited No.
Animatable No.
Version CSS3
DOM Syntax Object.style.initialLetter = "<number>";


initial-letter: normal | <number> | <integer>;

Example of the initial-letter property:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Title of the document</title>
      body {
        display: flex;
        align-items: center;
        justify-content: center;
        font-family: 'Slabo 27px';
        font-size: 1.5em;
        line-height: 1.5;
        padding: 40px 0;
      article {
        width: 80%;
      .example::first-letter {
        -webkit-initial-letter: 2;
        initial-letter: 1;
        color: #8ebf42;
        font-weight: bold;
        margin-right: .60em;
    <article class="example">
      Lorem Ipsum is dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged.


CSS initial-letter


Value Description
normal No initial-letter effect. This is the default value of this property.
<number> Specifies the size of the initial letter, how many lines it occupies. Negative values are not allowed.
<integer> Specifies how many lines the initial letter should sink.
initial Makes the property use its default value.
inherit Inherits the property from its parents element.

Browser support

chrome edge firefox safari opera
9.0 partial

Practice Your Knowledge

The initial-letter property works only in

Do you find this helpful?