How to use PROPER function in Excel (2 Examples)

There are several text functions in Excel to help you perform your desired tasks easily and swiftly. Today we are going to show you how to use a text function called: PROPER. For this session, we are using Excel 2019, feel free to use yours (at least 2003).

Overview - Excel PROPER Function

Practice Workbook

You are welcome to download the practice workbook from the link below.

Excel PROPER Function

1. Basics of PROPER Function

The PROPER function is categorized under TEXT functions in Excel. This function capitalizes the first letter of each word in a given text string.

Syntax - Excel PROPER Function


Converts a text string into the proper case; the first letter in each word to uppercase, and all other letters to lowercase.


PROPER (text)


text: The text that should be converted to proper case. This could be text enclosed in quotation marks, a formula that returns text, or a reference to a cell containing the text


Workable from Excel 2003.

2. Uses of PROPER Function

I. Convert string into proper case

From the basic description of the PROPER function, you might have understood that this function will convert the text string in such a way that the first letter of every world will be in uppercase.

To show you examples we have introduced a dataset of several proverbs typed randomly.

Proverbs data - Excel PROPER Function

We will convert the data string into the proper case. All we need to provide is the string into PROPER. Our formula will be


Here we have inserted the Cell Reference of the first row of our table.

Convert into proper case result

The string had all characters in lowercase. After using the formula, we have found the sentence in the proper case (first letter of each word in uppercase).

The strings we stored have different issues from being properly cased. The formula will eradicate all the mistypes and convert them into the proper case.

Convert into proper case Autofill

II. Combine multiple columns in proper case

We can combine multiple columns and store them into the proper case using the PROPER function.

Our example dataset has two columns having first and last names.

Combine columns proper case data - Excel PROPER Function

For example purpose, we have typed several names in different ways. We are set to combine these two columns and our formula will be

=PROPER(B4&" "&C4)

Here B4 and C4 are the Cell Reference of the first row of the First Name and Last Name column respectively.

Combine columns proper case result

We have used " " to provide a space between the elements of these two columns.

The formula provided the Full Name and you can see the case of the name has been changed. Changing the cell references we will find all the full names for our dataset.

Combine columns case autofill

3. Quick Notes

  1. You can insert the text directly using double quotations.

Direct input - Excel PROPER Function

The function will convert the first letter of each word into uppercase.

Direct input result

  1. If you insert numbers into the function,

Number in PROPER - Excel PROPER Function

then it will not be affected. The number will remain as it is.

Number in PROPER result

3. Numbers in another format; such as in a currency format, may not behave like the conventional numbers.

Currency in PROPER - Excel PROPER Function

This will cause the loss of format.

Currency format lost


  1. If your string has apostrophe s ( 's ), then the function will divide the word up to the apostrophe.

Apostrophe S - Excel PROPER Function

The function will convert the first letter of the word and the apostrophe s into uppercase.

Apostrophe S result

  1. PROPER may not be suitable for dates.

Dates in PROPER - Excel PROPER Function

Providing date into the function you will get the serial number for that date.

Dates result


That’s all for today. We have tried showing how you can use the PROPER function. You can use the function to capitalize the first letter of each word in a given text string. Hope you will find this helpful.

Feel free to comment if anything seems difficult to understand. Let us know any of your PROPER function-related scenarios where you have stuck, we are ready to help.

Further Readings

Shakil Ahmed

Shakil Ahmed

My name’s Shakil. My articles are targeted to support you in enriching knowledge regarding different features related to Microsoft Excel. I am fond of literature, hope some knowledge from them will help me providing you some engaging articles even though some weary technical terms.

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