Forcing a Word to Lowercase

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 6, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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 Microsoft 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. ...


Odd Sorting

Word is great at sorting simple information in tables and paragraphs. If you have more complex information (such as ...

Discover More

Colorizing Charts

Need to change the color of different parts of your chart? It's easy to do when you apply the technique described in this ...

Discover More

Resizing Checkboxes

If you create a user form in VBA that includes checkboxes, you may want to make the checkboxes larger. You can't adjust ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Adding Ampersands to Custom Dictionaries

It appears that Word doesn't allow you to define custom dictionary entries that include ampersands. There are ways you ...

Discover More

Importing AutoCorrect Entries

The AutoCorrect feature in Word can be very helpful not just for correcting misspellings, but also for expanding short ...

Discover More

Make AutoCorrect Pay Attention to Character Case

If you rely on AutoCorrect (as most Word users do), you may have noticed that it doesn't always give the desired results ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two less than 2?

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)?

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.


FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.