The CSS reference

":first-letter" - css pseudo-element (v. css 1)

  • Will add a style to the first character of a text which MUST be in a block.
  • These are the properties that apply to this pseudo-elements: font properties, 'text-decoration', 'text-transform', 'letter-spacing', 'word-spacing' (when appropriate), 'line-height', 'float', 'vertical-align' (only if 'float' is 'none'), margin properties, padding properties, border properties, color property, background properties.
  • HTML usage: all elements
  • Browsers that support the :first-letter - pseudo-element :
    Internet Explorer Mozilla Firefox Opera Google Chrome Apple Safari

Pseudo-element ":first-letter" example:

    <title>Page title</title>
    <style type="text/css">
      i:first-letter, div p:first-letter {
        font-size: 200%;
        color: blue;
        font-variant: small-caps;
    <h2>Header <i style="display: inline-block;">h2</i> text</h2>
      <p>The first letter has a new font size and color. <p>
    <p><b>Note:</b> For :first-child to work in
      IE, a DOCTYPE must be declared.</p>
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