Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Using Find and Replace to Change Text Case.

Using Find and Replace to Change Text Case

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 31, 2018)

11

David wanted to find words with an initial capital letter and change the initial capital letter to lowercase. Using wildcards, he wrote a Find string that correctly found capitalized words. However, David was unable to figure out how to change the initial capital to lowercase. He thought of using a Replace string, but didn't know how to create one that would do that.

There is no way to do this in Word, at least not using Find and Replace by itself. The closest you can achieve is to create a macro that will use Find and Replace to step through all instances of your capitalized words and individually change the case of them.

You can, however, easily change the case of those letters by following these general steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+F to display the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Click the More button, if it is available. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  4. Set up your wildcard search as you normally would to locate all the words that have the initial caps letter.
  5. In the dialog box, make sure you select the Highlight All Items check box.
  6. Use the drop-down list under the check box to select Main Document.
  7. Click Find All. Word selects all the words that match the pattern you specified in step 2.
  8. Press Esc to get rid of the Find and Replace dialog box. Your words should all still be selected.
  9. Press Shift+F3 as many times as necessary to get the capitalization the way you want it for the selected words.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7535) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Using Find and Replace to Change Text 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

Repeating Actions

Need to repeat an action a whole bunch of times? You can do it a time or two using keyboard shortcuts, but you'll need a ...

Discover More

Resetting a Function Key

Function keys are often used, in Word, for common operations. You can, if desired, change the way in which a function key ...

Discover More

Opening and Printing a Document

Want a quick, fast way to print a Word document? Here's a way that can't be beat!

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Ignoring Accented Characters in Searches

When writing in non-English languages, there can be many variations of accented characters that are used in a word. You ...

Discover More

Copying Found Items to a New Document

Word allows you to use its searching capabilities to easily find multiple items in a document. What if you want to copy ...

Discover More

Searching for a Specific Field

Fields can be a great boon to document development, as they allow you to insert different types of dynamic information in ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, 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 six less than 9?

2020-08-25 15:40:57

Steven

Note that this page is for Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. For later versions, which is probably everyone commenting on this page since 2016, check the link to the appropriate page at the top of this page.

If followed, the instructions above and on the page for later versions of Word do exactly what Mr. Wyatt says. Once all items are selected/highlighted, pressing Shift + F3 will change the case of each letter selected between lower and upper case. If words are selected, it will change the case from all caps, to all miniscule, to initial cap, in succession. I might add, that I have tried quite a few of Mr. Wyatt's suggestions and the only time any failed to work as stated was when I failed to follow each step in the process correctly.


2020-08-03 17:55:56

Joe

Doesn't work. Different version or for whatever the reason, almost every time I try one of Allen Wyatt's instructions, they simply don't work. I have been avoiding his instruction due to that but I tried this one just to see if he has upped his game. Nope.

I did read the comments and I see that bigbucky has the actual solution.


2020-07-21 21:37:26

Clifton

Could you share with us David's wildcard search string? This would be very helpful.
Also if you would demonstrate the wildcard search for paragraphs that begin with words with initial lowercase letters.


2020-02-20 09:19:20

MPerez

Always giving wonderful tips, many thanks!


2019-11-14 10:48:33

Wirkwajie Eugine Wirba

Thanks so much it really helped me to replaced about 212 entries in a document and change to lower case s


2019-08-21 13:53:48

Bob A

Not exactly what I want. I'd like to find and replace all examples of a capital letter followed by a period to the same capital letter without the succeeding period. How can I do that?


2018-11-25 14:27:07

bigbucky

When you click on More there is a Match case checkbox. Check it and then put the capitalized word in the find and the lowercase in replace. it will replace them all in one go.


2018-05-09 03:05:20

Julie

You're great! Thank you! Every time I use it it works perfectly!


2017-03-30 13:15:38

Jacob

Doesn't work. highlights bolded terms, Shift F3 does not change all, only the first term.


2016-08-30 23:13:50

ramon

can you be more specific about it


2015-05-06 10:35:45

VENKATA BHARGAVA RAM

Hi,

Can i get automatically delete repeated word VBA Query? (without adding words to dictionary)

Example:
sales sales
and and

After query:
sales
and

thank you.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, 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.