by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 8, 2019)
When Linda is typing sentences, Word automatically recognizes the start of a new sentence based upon typing sentence-ending punctuation, such as a period. Word then automatically capitalizes the first letter of the new sentence. This doesn't work, however, when the period follows a number, such as "...measures 4 x 3 x 2." In this case Word doesn't capitalize the first letter of the sentence following, but Linda would prefer that it did so. She wonders if there is some setting she is missing.
Word allows you to specify that the first letter of any new sentence should be capitalized. This setting is controlled on the AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box. To make sure the setting is turned on, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.
At this point, you should be able to type sentences, and Word makes sure that anything following a punctuation mark has the first letter capitalized. By default, this includes sentences that follow a sentence ending in a number. All the testing I was able to do indicates that this is true in Word 2007, Word 2010, Word 2013, Word 2016, Word 2019, and Word in Office 365. It is not true, however, in older versions of Word (2003 and before).
You might be tempted to believe that there are other controls in Word that affect this behavior. Again, I could not find any such controls in my testing. If Word isn't capitalizing after sentences ending in numbers on your system, then the only other thing to check is the AutoCorrect exceptions. With the AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box displayed (as earlier discussed), click the Exceptions button. Word displays the First Letter tab of the AutoCorrect Exceptions dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
Figure 2. The First Letter tab of the AutoCorrect exceptions dialog box.
Look through the exceptions defined for your system and make sure that they make sense. Especially make sure there are no numeric entries in the list.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12648) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.
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