CSS2 » Other » first-letter

Version: Level 1

Compability: IE5+  N6+

The :first-letter pseudo-element allows you to apply style to the first letter of an element. This is a very convenient way to enhance the appearance of the beginning of paragraphs throughout a document.

CSS2 has four pseudo-elements: :after, :before, :first-letter, and :first-line. Pseudo-elements allow you to create element-like structures which permit you to apply style to parts of a document that normally cannot be accessed using HTML. Specifically, you can add styled content before and after an element, or effect the style of the first letter or first line of an element.
 
Only certain CSS properties can be applied using :first-letter.
They are:

CSS propertiesCSS propertiesCSS properties
background background-color background-image
background-repeat clear color
float font font-family
font-size font-style font-variant
font-weight letter-spacing line-height
margin margin-bottom margin-left
margin-right margin-top padding
padding-bottom padding-left padding-right
padding-top text-decoration text-shadow
text-transform vertical-align word-spacing

A pseudo-element is assigned to a selector via following syntax:
 
selector:pseudo-element {property: value; ...;}
 
A pseudo-element can also be used with the value assigned as a class to a selector:
 
selector.classvalue:pseudo-element {property: value; ...;}
 

Examples

Code:
<html>
<head>
<title>first-letter test</title>
<style type="text/css">
h1.red:first-letter {color: #FF0000;}
h1.yellow:first-letter {color: yellow;}
</style>
</head>
<body>
<h1 class="red"> The first letter is red.</h1>
<h1 class="yellow"> The first letter is yellow.</h1>
<h1> The first letter is black.</h1>
</body>
</html>
Output:

The first letter is red.

The first letter is yellow.

The first letter is black.

Language(s): CSS2

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