How to Change Case in Excel: Upper, Lower, and More (2023)

Sometimes, you need to change the letter case of a text for proper capitalization of names, places, and things. In Microsoft Word, it’s easy to do that using the Change Case button.

However, there is no Change Case button in Microsoft Excel πŸ™ Then how do you change the letter case of texts in Excel? How much more if you need to change the letter case of texts of large data sets? 😱

Good news! Changing the letter case of text is possible in Excel, and you don’t have to manually do it at all!

Excel offers you the UPPER, LOWER, and PROPER functions to automatically change text values to upper case, lower case, or proper case 😊

Let’s do it!

Before you scroll down, make sure to download this free practice workbook we’ve prepared for you to work on.

How to change case to uppercase

To change the case of text into uppercase means to capitalize all lowercase letters in a text string. Simply put, to change them to ALL CAPS.

You can do this in Excel by using the UPPER function. It has the following syntax:

=UPPER(text)

The only argument in this function is the text. It refers to the text that you want to be converted to uppercase. This can be a reference or text string.

It’s time to open your practice workbook and put this function into action πŸ’ͺ

You will see a column named Original Data which contains names, places, and sentences that are written in different text case formats.

You may have encountered this in real life where you have to work with data that do not appear in a format that you want.

Let’s convert text data in the original data column into uppercase using the UPPER function.

  1. Double-click on cell B2 to put the cell in Edit mode.
uppercase names
  1. Type the UPPER function:

=UPPER(

not the underlying formulas
  1. The first and only argument in the UPPER function is the text. You can type in the text string or simply click the cell reference of the text you want to convert to uppercase 😊

In our case, click cell A2. Close the formula with a right parenthesis.

The formula should now look like this:

=UPPER(A2)

appropriate cell reference
  1. Press Enter.
text converted

You have successfully changed the text case to all caps πŸ‘

  1. Fill in the rest of the rows by dragging down the fill handle or double-clicking it.
flash fill using fill handle in the corner of the cell

All caps in no time!

You don’t have to worry about converting text in large data sets into uppercase. The UPPER function is all you need!

But what if you need to capitalize only the first letter of the text, not all the text characters of the whole text string? πŸ€”

No worries, Excel can help you do that too using the PROPER function!

Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist

Capitalize the first letter using the PROPER function

As the name of the function suggests, the PROPER function converts text into proper form or case. It only capitalizes the first letter of each substring of text.

The text could be a single word. It could also be multiple words such as first and last names, cities and states, abbreviations, suffixes, and honorifics/titles.

The PROPER function follows the same syntax and arguments as the UPPER and LOWER functions:

=PROPER(text)

In a new column of our practice workbook, let’s convert the text string to the proper case 😊

  1. Double-click cell C2.
click cell in new column to capitalize first letter using proper function
  1. Type the PROPER function:

=PROPER(

see above formula in formula bar
  1. Click cell A2 as your text. Then close the formula with a right parenthesis.

=PROPER(A2)

click excel data
  1. Press Enter. Fill in the rest of the rows using the fill handle.
flash fill entire column

Only the first letter of each of the substrings of the whole text string is capitalized.

As mentioned above, this works best in converting first and last names, cities and states, abbreviations, and more.

You can convert the text in Microsoft Excel into the proper case in no time! πŸ˜€

Pro Tip!

Excel automatically suggests formulas as you type.

For example, you can just type β€œ=pro” and the suggestion for β€œ=PROPER” will appear.

Press the Tab key to input the suggested formula.

How to change case to lowercase

If you have a list that comes in all caps, you can convert them all to lowercase using the LOWER function.

This is the syntax of the LOWER function:

=LOWER(text)

Remember Column B in our practice workbook where we placed all converted uppercase text? Let’s convert that to lowercase letters.

Let’s create a new column where we will place the text converted to lowercase πŸ‘‡

data in column b
  1. Start by double-clicking cell D2.
click cell in the new column
  1. Type the formula:

=LOWER(B2)

type formula
  1. Press Enter. Fill in the other rows by double-clicking the fill handle or dragging it down.
flash fill

Now all text is now in lowercase letters πŸ‘

This is how your practice workbook should look overall ✨

Comparing the data in the original column, you can convert any text data into upper case, proper case, or lower case.

desired result using upper lower proper excel functions

For UPPER and LOWER functions, it would just change all the text characters to upper case or lower case.

For the PROPER function, there are a couple of limitations you need to be aware of ✍

As you know, it only capitalizes the first character in a text string. The limitation is that it does not know the difference between an actual word and an abbreviation – like an acronym for instance.

For example, if we apply the PROPER function to something like “FIFA”, it will return “Fifa”.

Another example would be using the suffix “md” for a medical doctor. If we apply the PROPER function to it, it will return “Md”.

This is not the desired outcome and should be kept in mind πŸ’­

That’s it – Now what?

Nice work! Now you know how to convert text into upper, proper, and lower letter cases. You won’t have to worry about changing letter cases of large sets of data, and no more manual typing πŸ₯³

Convert text like a pro, get work done faster, and impress your boss with this advanced skill in Microsoft Excel.

There are still so many functions in Excel that will help you save a lot of work. Learn functions you actually NEED like the IF, the SUMIF, and the most popular Excel function: the VLOOKUP function πŸš€

You might be thinking πŸ€” if there is an easy and quick way to learn these.

Of course! Join my FREE Excel Intermediate Training where I send you free lessons about the IF, SUMIF, and VLOOKUP function. Plus, you’ll learn how to effectively clean your data in Excel too.

Click here to join πŸ˜€

Other resources

Do you want to extract text substrings in Excel instead? Learn exactly with LEFT, RIGHT, and MID Functions in Excel. Read more here.

You can also learn how to convert numbers or dates to text to increase their readability or to bring them to a certain format. You can do that using the TEXT function in Excel! Read about Excel’s TEXT function here.

I hope this was a helpful read πŸ‘‹

Frequently asked questions

You can use the UPPER function to convert small letters to capital letters.

  1. In a cell, type “=UPPER(
  2. Click the cell reference of the text you want to convert to capital letters, then close the formula with a right parenthesis.
  3. Press Enter.