Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Adjusting Small Caps Text.

Adjusting Small Caps Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 21, 2016)

4

Small caps are a typographic convention in which no lowercase letters are used. Traditionally, the first letter of the word appears a bit larger than the rest of the letters in a word, even though all letters are uppercase. When you use the Small Caps character attribute, Word coverts the letters to their proper appearance.

To convert words properly to small caps, you need to go through several steps, as follows:

  1. Select the current word (or group of words)
  2. Make sure the first letter of each word is uppercase
  3. Set the Small Caps character attribute

If you are using small caps text sparingly in a document, then these steps are rather quick and painless. However, if you are using it quite a bit, then repeatedly performing the steps can get tiresome. The following is a macro you can use to perform these steps automatically:

Sub MakeSmallCaps()
     If Selection.Type = wdSelectionIP Then
          Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdWord, Count:=1
          Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdWord, Count:=1, Extend:=wdExtend
     End If
     Selection.Range.Case = wdTitleWord
     Selection.Font.SmallCaps = True
End Sub

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13061) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Adjusting Small Caps Text.

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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What is six minus 3?

2016-12-21 11:30:52

Malcolm

Microsoft Word small caps are a bastardized attempt at the real thing, which is usually available with commercial fonts. Linux Libertine font (www.dafont.com/linux-libertine.font)also has true small caps. "True" means that the stroke weight of each letter is the same as in the caps/lower-case font and that the caps are between 10% and 15% expanded (wider) when compared with the standard cap; and the height of the small cap equals the x-height of the lower-case. (Good explanation in Wikipedia.)


2016-11-18 03:32:05

Jens

How to solve the same problem with PowerPoint?


2016-01-30 18:16:06

KIKI

The small caps attributes does not show up anywhere! my options are lower case UPPERCASE and tOGGLE cASE


2014-04-16 11:16:13

Glenn Case

Note that step 2 is not a requirement, unless you actally want he word capitalized.

This tip as presented works well if you want to emulate Word's Title Case function; however, that is not proper for most formal, technical, or professional writing, and appears awkward for informal writing, since it capitalizes every word in the selection. Typically, articles and short prepositions (3-4 letters or less, depending on your style guide) should not be capitalized in a title.

A google search on "True Title Case" will produce further discussion and a number of macro solutions which address this issue. There's also a macro solution in WordTips, titled "Intelligent Title Case." (Note that the list of words to not be capitalized in that tip needs to be significantly expanded.)

Use of true title case will help you present a more professional image in your writing.


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