Make Paragraphs Stand Out with Drop Caps

SUMMARY: Drop Caps can make the first paragraph of a chapter or document section stand out, and they are easy to make and customize.

Many books and other documents incorporate the use of an initial at the start of a chapter or section; this is a stylized first letter that stands out from the rest of the text. With Microsoft Word 2010 you can easily add an initial to the left of a paragraph, as well as a drop cap, an initial in-line with the text (see the screenshot to the right for an example).

1. Move your cursor to the start of a paragraph where you want this drop cap / initial to appear.
2. Click on the “Insert” tab in the Ribbon.
3. In the “Text” section, click the “Drop Cap” button. You can select from the following three options – as you do so, you should notice the first letter of the paragraph change:

* None
* Dropped (standard Drop Cap)
* In margin (the letter moves to the left of the paragraph)
Note that clicking the “Drop Cap Options” menu item brings up the “Drop Cap” dialog box. You can choose your Drop Cap type type from here, as well as:

* Font – the font of the Drop Cap letter
* Lines to drop – size of the drop cap, in number of lines
* Distance from text – add or decrease separation between the Drop Cap and the rest of the current paragraph

Click “OK” on the dialog box to close it.