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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 28, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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. ...

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