What does it do?

Capitalizes the first letter in a text string and any other letters in the text that follow a space. Converts all other letters to lowercase letters.

Formula breakdown:


What it means:

=PROPER(this text cell)

There are times when you will need to only CAPITALIZE the first letter in each word.  The most common scenario would be when you receive data with employee names, countries or cities that are all in lower or uppercase.

The PROPER formula in Excel can help you format the text very very easily…goodbye manual adjustments!

In our example below, we have a list of names in capital letters.  However we want to show the capital letters only on the first letter of each word.

I explain how you can do this and please go to the bottom of the page to see the animated gif tutorial:


STEP 1: We need to enter the Proper function next to the cell that we want to clean the data from:



STEP 2: The Proper arguments:


Which text do we want to change?

Reference the cell that contains the text string:



Proper 01


STEP 3: Do the same for the rest of the cells by dragging the PROPER formula all the way down using the left mouse button.

Note that all of the names are now properly formatted:

Proper 02






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