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You can add a nice decorative element to your document using a drop cap. While Google Docs doesn’t offer a drop-cap feature like Microsoft Word, you can still create one in just a few minutes.

A drop cap is the first letter of a word in a paragraph or a block of text. It’s an upper case letter that’s larger than the rest of the text and can stretch two or more lines. You’ll most often see a drop cap in a book, but it has its place in certain types of documents as well. You could be writing an essay or other creative work where that little bit of flare adds just the right touch.

Create a Drop Cap in Google Docs

Head to the Google Docs website and sign in, then open your document or create a new one. Place your cursor at the beginning of the word in the paragraph or block of text where you want your drop cap to be. You can remove the first letter of the word either before or after you create the drop cap for it.

Next, click Insert > Drawing from the menu and choose “New.”

When the drawing window opens, click the “Actions” drop-down list in the top-left corner and select “Word Art.”

Enter the letter that you want to use for the drop cap in the box that appears and hit your “Return” or “Enter” key.

Enter the letter for the drop cap

Once your letter appears in the drawing window, you can customize it almost any way you like using the toolbar at the top. Use the font drop-down box to choose a style, make the letter bold or italic, and choose a border and fill color.

Use the font tools to customize the letter

You can resize the letter by dragging inward or outward from a corner. This will keep the proportions of the letter correct for the style you select.

Resize the drawing by dragging a corner

When you finish, click “Save and Close” at the top to pop the letter into your document.

Wrap the Text around Your Drop Cap

You’ll see the drop cap at the beginning of your Google Docs document. You might need to remove the first letter if you didn’t do so already. By default, the drop cap is in line with the text, as you can see in the screenshot below. You’ll want to use the Wrap Text alignment for a more natural look.

Drop cap before wrapping text

Select the letter, and a small toolbar menu will appear beneath it. Click the center alignment option for “Wrap Text.”

You’ll then see the surrounding text adjust to wrap around your drop cap. If you want to adjust the size of your drop cap after wrapping the text, just select the letter and drag it from a corner. You can also click and move the letter if necessary for appearance’s sake.

Resize the drop cap by dragging a corner

Edit the Drop Cap Drawing

If you would like to make additional changes to the letter such as altering the font style or color, select the letter and click “Edit” in the toolbar.

This will reopen the drawing window you used to create the drop cap. Make your changes and save your work, and you’ll see the changes applied to your document.

Edited drop cap in Google Docs

Once you create your first drop cap in Google Docs, you’ll see just how easy the process is. You can create a lovely appearance for your document without it being distracting or over the top using a simple drop cap. And if you prefer to use the built-in drop cap feature in Word, you can easily convert your Google Docs document to the Microsoft Office format, and you’re set.

RELATED: How to Convert a Google Docs Document to Microsoft Office Format

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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