Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 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: Capitalizing the First Letter after a Colon.

Capitalizing the First Letter after a Colon

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 12, 2020)

Becca asked if there is a way to create a default setting so that the first letter following a colon will always be a capital letter. Unfortunately, there is no built-in way to do this in Word. You can, however, create a macro that can be used to step through your document and make sure that each lowercase letter following a colon (and a space) is converted to uppercase.

Sub CapsAfterColon()
    Selection.Find.ClearFormatting
    Selection.Find.Replacement.ClearFormatting
    With Selection.Find
        .Text = ": ([a-z])"
        .Replacement.Text = ": \1"
        .Forward = True
        .Wrap = wdFindContinue
        .Format = True
        .MatchCase = False
        .MatchWholeWord = False
        .MatchWildcards = True
        .MatchSoundsLike = False
        .MatchAllWordForms = False
    End With
    Selection.Find.Execute

    While Selection.Find.Found
        Selection.Range.Case = wdUpperCase
        Selection.Collapse direction:=wdCollapseEnd
        Selection.Find.Execute
    Wend
End Sub

The macro uses a wildcard search to find instances of a colon followed by a space and a lowercase letter. For each instance found, the text is converted to uppercase. The macro searches for and changes the case of all such instances in the document.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13032) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Capitalizing the First Letter after a Colon.

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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