Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Capitalizing Just a Surname.

Capitalizing Just a Surname

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 24, 2018)

Cheryl is using a worksheet that has, in column A, client names in the format "Smith, Jane." She would like to capitalize only the surname, as in "SMITH, Jane", leaving the rest of the name unchanged.

If there is one and only one comma that separates the surname from the first name, you can create a formula to do the conversion. Assuming the name is in A1, the formula would be:

=UPPER(LEFT(A1,FIND(",",A1)-1))&MID(A1,FIND(",",A1),LEN(A1))

If you prefer to not use a formula (which may mess up the look of your worksheet), you could also use a macro to convert the names, in place. Consider the following:

Sub CapitalizeSurnames()
    Dim rCell As Range
    Dim iComma As Integer
    For Each rCell In Selection
        iComma = InStr(rCell, ",")
        If iComma > 0 Then
            rCell = UCase(Left(rCell, iComma - 1)) & _
              Mid(rCell, iComma)
        End If
    Next
    Set rCell = Nothing
End Sub

Simply select the cells that you want to convert (such as those in column A) and then run the macro. It makes the conversion to the names in the cells.

Note:

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

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6779) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Capitalizing Just a Surname.

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

Locking the Print Area

Excel allows you to specify an area of your worksheet that should be printed. Here's how to "lock" that area so it cannot ...

Discover More

Understanding Manual Calculation

When you make changes in a worksheet, Excel automatically recalculates everything that may be affected by that change. If ...

Discover More

Non-standard Sorting

Information in a cell can be entered using line feeds, which results in multiple lines of data in the same cell. If you ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Reordering Last Name and First Name

If you've got a list of names in a column, you may want to change the order of each name. For instance, the name have the ...

Discover More

Using the CONCATENATE Worksheet Function

The process of combining string (text) values to make a new string is called concatenation. Excel provides the ...

Discover More

Checking for Text

Need to figure out if a particular cell contains text? You can use the ISTEXT function to easily return this bit of trivia.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, 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 9 + 2?

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

Newest Tips
Subscribe

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