How to Make First Letter of Each Word Capital in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Making the first letter of each word capital in Excel is a simple task that can be accomplished using the "PROPER" function. This function converts a text string to proper case; the first letter in each word to uppercase, and all other letters to lowercase.

Step by Step Tutorial: Capitalizing the First Letter in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to note that this function will help you standardize the appearance of your text data, making it look more professional and easier to read.

Step 1: Select the cell or range of cells

Click on the cell or drag your mouse across the range of cells where you want to capitalize the first letter of each word.

Step 2: Type the PROPER function

In the formula bar, type =PROPER(A1), replacing "A1" with the cell reference that contains the text you want to convert.

This function takes the text in the specified cell and converts it to proper case. Keep in mind that it will not change any numbers, punctuation, or spaces in the cell – only the letters.

Step 3: Press Enter

After typing the function, press Enter to apply the formula to the cell or range of cells.

The text in the selected cell(s) will automatically update, showing the first letter of each word in uppercase and the rest in lowercase.

Step 4: Copy the formula (optional)

If you need to apply the proper case to multiple cells, you can copy the formula by dragging the fill handle (a small square at the bottom right corner of the selected cell) across the other cells.

When you copy the formula to other cells, Excel automatically adjusts the cell references in the formula to match the new location, saving you the time of typing the formula multiple times.

After completing these steps, all the text in the selected cells will have the first letter of each word capitalized, making your data look clean and consistent.

Tips for Capitalizing the First Letter in Excel

  • Make sure there are no leading spaces before the text in the cell, as this could affect the appearance of the capitalized first letter.
  • If you have a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters in a word and only want to capitalize the first letter, use the LOWER function first to convert all letters to lowercase, and then apply the PROPER function.
  • Remember that the PROPER function will not correct spelling errors or punctuation. Always double-check your data for accuracy.
  • If you want to permanently replace the original text with the proper case version, use the "Paste Special" feature to paste the values over the original data.
  • To capitalize the first letter of each sentence instead of each word, you would need to use a combination of functions or VBA code, as there is no built-in function for this specific task in Excel.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I only want to capitalize the first letter of the first word in a cell?

To only capitalize the first letter of the first word, you can use a combination of the UPPER, LOWER, and LEFT functions to achieve this.

Can I use the PROPER function in Google Sheets?

Yes, the PROPER function works the same way in Google Sheets as it does in Excel.

Is there a way to capitalize the first letter of each word without using a formula?

You can use the "Change Case" feature in Excel, but this is only available in the desktop version and not in the online version of Excel.

What happens if there are numbers or symbols in my text?

The PROPER function will not change the case of numbers or symbols; it only affects letters.

Can I undo the PROPER function after applying it?

Yes, you can undo the function by pressing Ctrl + Z or by using the undo button. However, if you’ve made further changes after applying the function, you may need to manually revert the text back to its original state.


  1. Select the cell or range of cells.
  2. Type the PROPER function.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Copy the formula (optional).


Using the PROPER function in Excel is a handy way to ensure consistency in your text data. Whether you’re working with names, titles, or any other text where proper capitalization is important, this function saves you the time and hassle of manually capitalizing the first letter of each word. Remember to review and clean your data before applying the function to avoid any unexpected results. And don’t forget, practice makes perfect, so the more you use this function, the more efficient you’ll become at managing and presenting your data in Excel.

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