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: Capitalizing the Word "I".

Capitalizing the Word "I"

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 25, 2021)

William frequently uses Word's command to change case, but he notes that the behavior of the command is (at times) odd. He often wants to end up with "sentence case," with the first letter of the first word of the sentence capitalized and all other letters lowercase. But Word also leaves the word "I" in lower case, when, of course, it should always be capitalized. So William has to go back through the text and manually capitalize each lowercase "i." He wonders if there is a way around this problem.

The solution, as many people think, isn't in Word's AutoCorrect feature. By default, AutoCorrect includes an option that automatically replaces any lowercase, single-word instances of the letter i with I, as you type.

This isn't an "as you type" situation, however. If you select a sentence and use F3 to cycle through your capitalization options, you end up—before getting to Sentence Case capitalization—going through Lowercase capitalization, which lowercases all the letters including the pronoun "I". When you then choose Sentence Case capitalization, the pronoun remains as lowercase, unless it is the first word in the sentence. This behavior is exhibited regardless of how you have AutoCorrect configured.

The only solution that we've been able to come up with is to us Word's Find and Replace capabilities in a macro to replace all instances of a single-word lowercase i with an uppercase I.

Sub iBecomesI()
    Selection.WholeStory
    Selection.Find.ClearFormatting
    Selection.Find.Replacement.ClearFormatting
    With Selection.Find
        .Text = "i"
        .Replacement.Text = "I"
        .Forward = True
        .Wrap = wdFindAsk
        .Format = False
        .MatchCase = True
        .MatchWholeWord = True
        .MatchWildcards = False
        .MatchSoundsLike = False
        .MatchAllWordForms = False
    End With
    Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll
End Sub

The macro can, if desired, be associated with a keyboard shortcut of your choosing so you can use it with your selected sentences rather easily.

Note:

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

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7911) 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: Capitalizing the Word "I".

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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