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 22, 2022)

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

Unique Date Displays

Need to print an elapsed date in a strange format? It's easier to do than may appear at first glance. Here's a discussion ...

Discover More

Adding Paragraph Numbering

You may search high and low for a way to add automatic numbers to paragraphs in a document. You won't find the ...

Discover More

Limiting Searching to a Column

When you use Find and Replace, Excel normally looks through all the cells in a worksheet. You may want to limit the ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 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

Keeping a Replace Operation Displayed

The Find and Replace tool is designed to help you find and replace information as quickly as possible. However, you may ...

Discover More

Find and Replace in a Column or Row

Need to search for information in a table? Word allows you to easily limit your search to an entire column or row, as ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 four less than 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.

Videos
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.