Making Managerial Titles Lowercase

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 16, 2021)

Nathan frequently runs across a problem with individuals capitalizing job titles (e.g., "The Finance Manager shall provide...") in documents. He would like a macro to check for every use of a managerial title and lowercase it, unless there is a valid reason to initial-cap the first word when the title begins a sentence. He wonders if it is possible, without inputting all thirty managerial titles, to set up a wild card to match any two-word phrase where the second word is "manager" or "managers."

It is possible to do a wild card search to find the types of instances you are seeking. All you need to do is do an advanced search, make sure the Use Wildcards check box is selected, and then use this pattern in the Find What field:

<[A-Za-z][a-z]{1,}>^32[Mm]anager*>

The pattern will find two words where the second word is manager or managers. It will find the words if both or either word is capitalized or both words are in lowercase.

The problem is that it is not possible to change a word that has been found using wildcards to all lower case. This means that you'll need to manually inspect what is found and then make any necessary changes by hand. If you only have to do this once in a while, that isn't too onerous because the Find and Replace dialog box is not modal. (That means you can leave the dialog box open on your screen as you make an edit in the document, then click Find Next in the dialog box to find the next matching occurrence.)

If you need to do such changes quite often, then the only alternative is to create a macro that will do the changes for you. The following macro searches for the same pattern noted above and then correctly changes the capitalization of job titles. The macro finds job titles comprised of two words with the second word being "manager," "Manager," "managers" or "Managers." It then removes any capitalization from the words unless the title starts a sentence in which case it only removes capitalization from the second word.

Sub FixManagerCapitalisation()
    Dim aRange As Range
    Dim bRange As Range

    With Selection.Find
        .ClearFormatting
        .Text = "<[A-Za-z][a-z]{1,}>^32[Mm]anager*>"
        .Replacement.Text = ""
        .Forward = True
        .Wrap = wdFindAsk
        .MatchCase = False
        .MatchWildcards = True
        Do While .Execute
            Set aRange = Selection.Range
            Set bRange = Selection.Range
            bRange.MoveEnd unit:=wdSentence
            If bRange.Text <> Selection.Sentences(1).Text Then
                aRange = LCase(aRange.Words(1).Text) & Trim(aRange.Words(2))
            End If
            aRange = aRange.Words(1) & Trim(LCase(aRange.Words(2).Text))
            aRange.Start = aRange.End
            aRange.Select
            .ClearFormatting
        Loop
    End With
End Sub

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 (13080) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.

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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