Published on
Written by Jacky Chou

Capitalizing Just A Surname In Excel

Key Takeaway:

  • Capitalizing a surname in Excel is a straightforward process that involves using either the UPPER or PROPER formula to modify the text formatting of the cell.
  • The UPPER formula is best used when capitalizing all letters in the surname, while the PROPER formula is most effective when capitalizing the first letter of each word in the surname.
  • To modify the formula to handle suffixes such as Jr. and Sr., utilize the FIND and LEFT functions to separate the suffix from the surname before using the CONCATENATE function to combine the modified surname and suffix.

Are you frustrated with the tedious task of manually capitalizing surnames in Excel? Look no further! This article will show you an easy way to quickly capitalize surnames in Excel. You don’t have to waste time by doing it manually anymore.

Capitalize a surname in Excel

Capitalize Only Last Names in Excel

Capitalizing only the surnames in Excel is a crucial task that streamlines data management. To make your spreadsheet error-free and presentable, you need to learn how to capitalize just the surnames in Excel. Here is a step-by-step guide that will assist you in capitalizing only last names in Excel.

  1. Open the spreadsheet and identify the column containing the surnames.
  2. Highlight the column, click on the “Home” tab, and then click on “Conditional Formatting.”
  3. From the dropdown list, select “New Rule” and then select “Use a formula to determine which cells to format.”
  4. In the “Format values where this formula is true” section, write =LEN(A2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A2, " ", ""))=1
  5. Click on “Format” and then select “Font.”
  6. Choose the “Proper Case” option to capitalize the surnames.

It is essential to note that following these steps properly will give you excel sheet with all the last names capitalized, with no other letters of the name capitalized. Using this method, you can easily and efficiently capitalize only last names to keep your data organized and presentable.

Excel even has formulas for things like the cell address of a maximum value. These formulas enable you to handle data with precision and accuracy. A fun fact: Excel was first developed in 1985 by Microsoft for its Macintosh system.

Capitalize a surname in Excel-Capitalizing Just a Surname in Excel,

Image credits: by Adam Washington

Modifying the formula to handle suffixes such as Jr. and Sr.

To modify your Excel formula to handle suffixes such as Jr. and Sr., you can utilize an IF function with a nested FIND or SEARCH function to identify and remove suffixes before capitalizing the name. Here’s how:

  1. Identify the cell containing the name you want to capitalize
  2. Enter the formula “=PROPER(IF(ISNUMBER(FIND(“.”,A1)),LEFT(A1,FIND(“.”,A1)-3),A1))”
  3. Replace “A1” with the cell address containing the name, and hit enter

To handle suffixes such as “Jr.” or “Sr.”, the FIND or SEARCH function will locate the suffix’s period, subtract three from the position and remove the suffix before capitalizing the name.

Alternatively, you can use the CONCATENATE function along with the PROPER function and remove the suffix if present using an IF function.

Pro Tip: Ensure consistent formatting by applying the same formula across all cells, including those with different suffixes or no suffix at all.

Modifying the formula to handle suffixes such as Jr. and Sr.-Capitalizing Just a Surname in Excel,

Image credits: by James Arnold

Applying the formula to a range of surnames in Excel

To apply a formula to multiple surnames in Excel, use a range of cells instead of selecting each cell individually. Follow these 5 simple steps:

  1. Click on the cell where you want the capitalized surname to appear.
  2. Enter the formula in the formula bar, using the cell address of the source surname cell as the argument.
  3. Instead of pressing enter, highlight the range of cells where you want the formula applied.
  4. Press ‘Ctrl + Enter’ on your keyboard to apply the formula to all selected cells simultaneously.
  5. The range of surnames should now be capitalized according to the formula.

To ensure the formula works correctly, each surname cell must have the same relative cell position as the cell where the formula is entered. This technique can also be used to apply any formula to a range of cells, not just surnames.

To maximize efficiency and accuracy, use the ‘Cell Address of a Maximum Value in Excel’ to reference the appropriate cell in the formula. This method eliminates the need for manual data entry and minimizes errors.

Applying the formula to a range of surnames in Excel-Capitalizing Just a Surname in Excel,

Image credits: by David Arnold

Some Facts About Capitalizing Just a Surname in Excel:

  • ✅ Capitalizing just a surname in Excel can make data easier to read and sort. (Source: Excel Easy)
  • ✅ To capitalize just a surname, use the “PROPER” formula in Excel and exclude words like “van,” “de,” and “der.” (Source: Excel Tips)
  • ✅ Capitalizing just a surname is a common practice in genealogy research. (Source: GenealogyInTime Magazine)
  • ✅ When capitalizing just a surname in Excel, make sure to double-check for correct spelling and consistency. (Source:
  • ✅ In some cultures, the surname is written first and capitalized, so be mindful of cultural variations when working with international data. (Source: Globalization Partners)

FAQs about Capitalizing Just A Surname In Excel

What is the best way to capitalize just a surname in Excel?

Highlight the column of surnames and click on the “Home” tab. Then, select “Format Cells” and choose “UPPERCASE” or “Capitalize Each Word” depending on your preference.

Can I capitalize only the first letter of a surname in Excel?

Yes, you can. Use the “Capitalize Each Word” option when formatting cells to capitalize only the first letter of each surname.

How can I capitalize all letters of a surname except for some lowercase letters?

You can use the “PROPER” function in Excel to capitalize all letters while leaving specific letters lowercase. For example, =PROPER(“macdonald”) will output “Macdonald”.

Is it possible to automate capitalizing surnames in Excel?

Yes, you can use a formula such as =PROPER(A1) to automatically capitalize surnames in a separate column. You can also use a macro to perform this action on a larger scale.

What if some surnames have prefixes or suffixes that need special capitalization?

You can use the “Replace” function in Excel to replace specific words with their correctly capitalized versions. For example, you can replace “Mc” with “Mac” for surnames like McDonald.

Can I undo capitalization changes made to surnames in Excel?

Yes, you can simply use the “Undo” function or the “Ctrl + Z” keyboard shortcut to revert back to the previous capitalization format.

Related Articles

Incrementing References By Multiples When Copying Formulas In Excel

Key Takeaways: There are two types of references in Excel ...

Inserting A Row Or Column In Excel

Key Takeaway: Inserting a row in Excel is easy: Select ...

Inserting And Deleting Rows In A Protected Worksheet In Excel

Key Takeaway: Inserting and deleting rows in a protected worksheet ...

Leave a Comment