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: Specifying Proper Case.

Specifying Proper Case

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 19, 2015)

5

If you receive information from others as an odd assortment of upper- and lowercase characters, you may want to put the PROPER worksheet function to work for you. This function converts text so that the first letters of any words are uppercase and everything else is lowercase. Actually, what it does is make everything lowercase except any letters that do not follow another letter. Thus, any letters following spaces, punctuation, or numbers would be converted to uppercase.

As an example, if cell D4 contains "THIS IS MY TEXT", you could use the following formula in cell E4:

=PROPER(D4)

The result is that cell E4 will contain "This Is My Text".

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12046) 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: Specifying Proper Case.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Creating a Document Font List

If you want a list of all the fonts used in a document, the answer isn't as simple as you may think. This tip uses macros ...

Discover More

Converting From Numbers to Text

If you have a range of numeric values in your worksheet, you may want to change them from numbers to text values. Here's ...

Discover More

Saving AutoText Entries with Each Document

AutoText can be a great way to add consistent, common text to a document. Unfortunately you cannot save AutoText entries ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Using the TRUNC Worksheet Function

Want to chop off everything after a certain point in a number? The TRUNC function can help with this need.

Discover More

Using a Cell Value as a Worksheet Name in a Formula

Excel allows you to easily develop formulas that pull values from worksheets and workbooks other than the one in which ...

Discover More

Calculating the Day of the Year

Need to know what day of the year a certain date is? You can figure it out easily using the formulas in this tip.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 9?

2016-01-13 10:09:15

Tom

If, instead you would like a "normal" sentence structure, you need to do a little more work so only the first word in capitalized. Two approaches work, capitalize the first character and make the rest lower case or use PROPER in combination with finding the first space in the text.
=UPPER(LEFT(D4,1))&LOWER(MID(D4,2,99999))
or
=LEFT(PROPER(D4),FIND(" ",D4,1))&(MID(LOWER(D4),FIND(" ",D4,1)+1,9999))


2015-12-22 05:51:37

Rod Grealish

Rob,

There are two functions, in addition to PROPER, for changing the case of a text string. They are UPPER and LOWER which change text to uppercase and lowercase respectively.

Enter the example text "This Is My Text" into cell A1

Keying =UPPER(A1) into cell B1 displays "THIS IS MY TEXT" in cell B1

Keying =LOWER(A1) into cell C1 displays "this is my text" in cell C1.

If you want to replace the original content of A1 by the converted value, copy the converted text (from B1 or C1)
and paste it into cell A1 using Paste Values (on Home tab, click Paste and then one of the three Paste Value options)


2015-12-21 14:24:51

Rob McGhie

What if I wanted the opposite... force all characters entered to be displayed as UPPER CASE?


2015-12-19 13:48:23

shopkins

I have found Proper to be quite useful, but not in all cases. "If" statements seem to be subject to case in many instances but not all. When calling workbooks via VBA, I have found using the open statement with ALL caps for the filename seldom fails. (This can be done without modifying the original mixe-case reference.


2015-12-19 12:52:56

Keith

If you're moving address' and you use "proper" how do you tell excel to recognize States or Provinces, thank you


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.