Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 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: Capitalizing Just a Surname.

Capitalizing Just a Surname

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 8, 2022)

2

Cheryl is using a worksheet that has, in column A, client names in the format "Smith, Jane." She would like to capitalize only the surname, as in "SMITH, Jane", leaving the rest of the name unchanged.

If there is one and only one comma that separates the surname from the first name, you can create a formula to do the conversion. Assuming the name is in A1, the formula would be:

=UPPER(LEFT(A1,FIND(",",A1)-1))&MID(A1,FIND(",",A1),LEN(A1))

If you prefer to not use a formula (which may mess up the look of your worksheet), you could also use a macro to convert the names, in place. Consider the following:

Sub CapitalizeSurnames()
    Dim rCell As Range
    Dim iComma As Integer
    For Each rCell In Selection
        iComma = InStr(rCell, ",")
        If iComma > 0 Then
            rCell = UCase(Left(rCell, iComma - 1)) & _
              Mid(rCell, iComma)
        End If
    Next
    Set rCell = Nothing
End Sub

Simply select the cells that you want to convert (such as those in column A) and then run the macro. It makes the conversion to the names in the cells.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12639) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Capitalizing Just a Surname.

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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Comments

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What is seven less than 7?

2022-03-09 05:23:59

Philip

The "Mid" function doesn't need the "Len" argument in this case (if the last argument in Mid is omitted, by default the full remainder of the text from the "starting position" is returned)


2020-11-28 05:11:12

Rick Rothstein

Although it is kind of long, we can upper case the last name all of the selected cells using this one-liner macro (assuming the last name is always separated from the rest of the name with a comma)...

Sub UpperCaseLastNameOnly()
Selection = Evaluate(Replace("IFERROR(UPPER(LEFT(@,FIND("","",@&"","")))&MID(@,FIND("","",@)+1,99),"""")", "@", Selection.Address))
End Sub


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