Use drop caps to liven up letters and documents in Word

Applies to
Microsoft Office Word 2003
Microsoft Word 2002

Remember the wonder of the story books you read as a child, the ones that always began with "Once upon a time" in brilliantly detailed letters that dropped below the rest of the text on the page? You may not be writing fairy stories, but the formatting of your childhood favorites can still be useful today.

Drop caps, or large initial letters or words at the start of a paragraph or document, can add style and focus to your documents. You can use them in letters to add your own special touch. Or you can use them at the start of sections of a newsletter or report to help your readers' eyes find their way through the page.

Drop cap

To add a drop cap

  1. Click the paragraph that you want to begin with a drop cap.
  2. On the Format menu, click Drop Cap.
  3. Click Dropped.
  4. Click OK.

 Note   If you are working with text in tables or text boxes, the Drop Cap command will be grayed out (unavailable) on the Format menu.

If you want to use more than one letter for your drop cap, place your cursor beside the drop cap letter and continue to type. Be sure to delete any text you may have duplicated from the body of your document.

Drop cap sentence

Get more graphical

You can also make more intricate drop caps by using clip art letters from Clip Art and Media on Microsoft Office Online. You can find all the letters of the alphabet decorated with different designs for you to use in your documents.

Drop cap using clip art

To add a clip art drop cap

  1. In Office Clip Art and Media, search for the letter you want to use. Browse through the designs and download your favorite.

 Note    In Office XP, the Clip Organizer will automatically be opened for you, with your clip art displayed.

  1. Drag the art from the Clip Organizer to the place you want to add it to in your document.
  2. Resize the clip art letter, if necessary, so that it fits with the rest of your document. To resize a letter and preserve the height-to-width ratio, press SHIFT and drag the corner toward or away from the center of the image.
  3. Select the clip art letter, and then click Picture on the Format menu.
  4. On the Layout tab of the Format Picture dialog box, under Wrapping style, click Square.
  5. Under Horizontal alignment, click Left.
  6. Click OK.
Applies to:
Word 2003