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Drop Caps in MS Word


It’s called a Drop Cap and, while this may not be something that we would use every day, it is a quick and very easy way to add a little something extra to your documents, making it something that would be a good addition to our “Hey, I know how to do that” list.

If you’re on-board with the idea, then you’re ready to move on, so here’s the scoop on creating your own Drop Caps…

First you’ll need to place your cursor in the paragraph that is to have the Drop Cap.

Now we’re off to the Insert tab of the Ribbon.


Here you need to locate the Drop Cap button.

Click it to choose a quick Drop Cap style – or remove a Drop Cap, if that’s the situation.

The choices are pretty obvious, put the letter in the paragraph as I did in the example above, or have Word place it in the left margin.

Choosing one of these two preset options will create the Drop Cap with the default setting and the same font as the rest of the paragraph.

If you’d like to change the font for the Drop Cap, or adjust how far it sits from the text, you’ll want to choose Drop Cap Options from the bottom of the list.

When the dialog box opens, you’ll find that it’s small, simple and self-explanatory.


At the top you can change the type of Drop Cap to use.

In the bottom section you’ll find settings for the font – my example contains a font that does not match the rest of the paragraph. I chose something that would give the character a bit of flourish.

Below that, you can decide how many lines it should sit next to. The more lines – the bigger the Drop Cap will be.

The last option is the distance the character should be placed from the rest of the text. It is set to zero by default but I find that it feels too cramped so I set it just a bit bigger to 0.1 – not a huge change but enough that it seems more legible to me. You will need to play with this one to decide what setting you prefer. I found that I could have a setting between 0 and 22 so there’s lots of room to play with the effects of this one.

When you’ve got the look “just right”, click OK.

Voila! The plain look is now an amazing look without a lot of hoopla or effort – just a bit of elegance added to the beginning.

~ April