Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Correcting a Capital Mistake.

Correcting a Capital Mistake

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 24, 2021)

3

I can't tell you the number of times that I've been feverishly typing away, without glancing up at my worksheet. I get in a "groove," and I keep typing away, figuring I will check things out when I get to the end of a row or a column. When I finally look up, I notice that I had the Caps Lock key selected, so all my normal text is in uppercase, and everything I wanted in upper case is in lowercase. This happened because I hit the Caps Lock key by mistake, and didn't notice the mistake until I'd already entered quite a bit of data.

Fortunately, Excel can catch this type of mistake for me—if I tell it to catch it. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 or a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Proofing at the left side of the screen. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Proofing options of the Excel Options dialog box.

  4. Click AutoCorrect Options. Excel displays the AutoCorrect dialog box.
  5. Display the AutoCorrect tab. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  7. Make sure the Correct Accidental Use of cAPS LOCK Key check box is selected.
  8. Click on OK.

Now, if I type something in a cell and the first letter is lowercase and the rest of the letters are uppercase, Excel figures that I've got the Caps Lock key selected, and helpfully turns it off. It also corrects the capitalization of my text entry.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10631) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Correcting a Capital Mistake.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 1 + 9?

2021-07-29 16:24:46

Tomek

@Roy: Yes it can. The registry key I gave in my earlier comment just remaps the Caps Lock key scan code to 00, which is nothing. You can replace it by another scan code to effectively convert the Caps Lock Key to any other key on the keyboard. For additional details you can google remapping keyboard or disabling Caps Lock.

If you read this and would like me to give you more details, send me an e-mail (my address is un-hidden), and i will try to find documentation on this. I have it somewhere, but need to dig for it.

Just think twice before remapping; I still keep hitting the Caps Lock key by mistake instead of Tab or Shift, and wouldn't want to invoke another key when it happens.


2021-07-24 18:10:00

Roy

Wonder if that can be used to not simply deactivate a key, but to change its output to that of another key, or string of keys?

Not quite as useful as Gateway's Anykey keyboards, since it wouldn't be "on-the-fly", but of one had key macros one would like always loaded, one could use it. Or perhaps the old "I'm an author and like remapping the '-" key to be "-' instead." That kind of thing.


2021-07-24 11:13:10

Tomek

I had a frequent problem with Caps Lock key, and it was not limited to Excel. in my opinion this key is almost never needed, so I disabled it! It can be done by modifying registry. Here is .reg entry that will do that:
========
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,00,00,3a,00,00,00,00,00

========
You can type or copy/paste the text from between the markers above into Notepad and save it as "DisableCapsLock.reg" then double click to run it. It will disable the Caps Lock key permanently. You may need to reboot the computer for it to take effect. To re-enable you would need to reverse changes to your registry.

If you cannot run the .reg file, because you do not have enough privileges, you can just pry out the Caps Lock key. When it is removed you won't be able to press it by mistake, but you can still depress the internal part of it using a tip of a pencil or may be even with your little finger. This way you will still have Caps Lock functionality available to you, if you ever need it.


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