Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Making Sure Word Doesn't Capitalize Anything Automatically.

Making Sure Word Doesn't Capitalize Anything Automatically

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 13, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Jim wants to know how he can prevent Word from capitalizing proper nouns (proper names) such as David, Shirley, Robert and so on. He has turned off the feature that capitalizes the first letter of sentences, but Word still capitalizes proper nouns for him. Jim doesn't want Word to capitalize anything at all.

There are a couple of things to try. First, make sure you turn off all the "usual suspects" regarding capitalization. You've already turned off the setting that capitalizes the first letter of sentences, but there are others as well. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Proofing.
  3. Click the AutoCorrect Options button. Word displays the AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  5. Clear the Correct TWo INitial Capitals check box.
  6. Clear the Capitalize First Letter of Sentences check box.
  7. Clear the Capitalize Names of Days check box.
  8. Look through the list of AutoCorrect entries and modify (or delete) any entries that result in capitalization of a word. (Alternatively, you can just turn off the AutoCorrect feature, if desired.)
  9. Clear the Automatically Use Suggestions from the Spelling Checker check box.
  10. Click on OK.

It is the last item (step 8) that is probably the culprit in Jim's case. If proper nouns are being capitalized, it is probably because they have been added to the spelling dictionary and Word is correcting the capitalization on them automatically.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8997) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Making Sure Word Doesn't Capitalize Anything Automatically.

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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