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How to Capitalize the First Letter of a Word in Google Sheets

When working with text in Google Sheets there are a number of times where you may need to modify the data.

Google Sheets has a few text functions that are useful for doing different things.

For example, sometimes you may need to capitalize the first letter of words in your cells. Google Sheets has functions that will help you do this.

In this tutorial, I will show you 2 formulas that will help you capitalize the first letter of words in Google Sheets.

How to Capitalize the First Letter of Each Word in Google Sheets

If you have a string of text in a cell, and you want to capitalize the first letter of every word in that string, the PROPER function will help you do this.

The PROPER function will output your selected text with the first letter capitalized of every word in the cell.

The PROPER function only takes one argument, which is the text that you want to perform the function on.

Here is the syntax of this formula:

PROPER(text)

Here is how to use this function:

  1. Select the cell where you want the formula to output the data.
  2. Type the word “Proper” and press the Tab button on your keyboard
  3. Select the cell with the text that you want to change
  4. Type a closing parenthesis “)”
  5. Press Enter on your keyboard

Proper

This method is useful if you want to capitalize every single word in a cell, but if you only want the first letter of the first word capitalized, use the below method

How to Capitalize the First Letter of a String of Text

If you only want to capitalize the first letter of a cell, you have to combine a few different functions.

There is not a single function in Google Sheets that will do this, but if you combine a few formulas, you can get the job done.

These are the functions you will need to combine and what they do:

  • UPPER – Converts string to uppercase
  • LEFT – Substring from the beginning of a specific string
  • RIGHT Substring from the end of a specific string
  • LEN – Length of a string

You would need to combine these in one formula with this syntax if you were performing it on the first cell in your spreadsheet:

=UPPER(LEFT(A1,1))&RIGHT(A1,LEN(A1)1)

You can see in the example below that this will capitalize only the very first word in your string.

Capitalize
This formula works because you are taking the very first letter at the left of your string and uppercasing it (UPPER & LEFT), and then adding on all the letters from the right of the string, except for the first letter. (RIGHT & LEN -1).

This is a very clever way of accomplishing this job. There are certainly other ways to do this in Google Spreadsheets, but this is going to be the best method.

Closing Thoughts

With the 2 methods, we have shown above you should easily be able to capitalize the first letter in your cells.

If you are still confused about how to use these functions, make sure to watch the video at the top of the page!

More Google Sheets Tutorials:
How to Sort by Date