Forcing a Word to Lowercase

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 15, 2019)


Geoff's company has decided that its name should always be lowercase. He wonders how he can force a word to lowercase all the time, even at the beginning of a sentence.

The easiest way to handle this situation is to rely on Word's AutoCorrect feature, which allows you to automatically replace one sequence of characters with a different sequence. Here's how you can set up the proper AutoCorrect entry:

  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. In the Replace box, enter either the capitalized version of the company name or a mnemonic you want to use, such as a shortened name for the company.
  6. With the insertion point in the With box, enter the lowercase version of the company name.
  7. Click on Add. Your new AutoCorrect definition is added to those already maintained by Word.
  8. Click on OK to close the AutoCorrect dialog box.

The key here is what you place into the Replace box (step 4). As noted, you could use either the capitalized version of your company name or a short mnemonic. For instance, let's say your company name is MyCompany. You could enter either the full name (MyCompany) or a mnemonic such as "myco." Whenever you type what you enter in the Replace box, it will be replaced by what you enter in the With box (step 5).

There is one potential gotcha here—what you enter in the Replace box cannot contain any spaces or end-of-sentence punctuation such as a period. Why? Because these characters are used to trigger AutoCorrect as you are typing. Thus, the AutoCorrect approach won't work if your company name consists of more than a single word or if it contains a punctuation mark.

Also, the AutoCorrect approach works only for future typing, not for anything you already have in the document. To make those changes you will need to rely on using Find and Replace to do to changes. (It is a simple thing to use Find and Replace to make your changes case-sensitive, so you end up with a lowercase company name.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13642) 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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What is five minus 1?

2019-06-17 03:16:14

Richard Price

@MW: you're right, there does seem to be a further 'gotcha' about AutoCorrect that the article doesn't mention, which is that what you enter in the With box cannot contain any end-of-sentence punctuation either.

That probably leaves you with only two options: either get in the habit of typing e.<Ctrl+Z>g. (without the triangular brackets) for e.g., or turn off the automatic capitalisation altogether (uncheck "Capitalize first letter of sentences" in the AutoCorrect Options).

2019-06-15 22:19:45


I'm missing something here and I hope somebody can help:

I like to write "e.g." (for example) in lower case even when it begins a sentence, and I use it often. But Word always auto-capitalizes the "E."

I have set up an auto correct to replace "eg-" with "e.g." -- but Word still always gives me this at the beginning of a sentence: E.g.

What am I overlooking or how do I set this up (without a macro)?

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