Shift+F3: Change Case in Word and PowerPoint

Select some text in Word or PowerPoint, then press Shift+F3. It’ll toggle between three possibilities for text capitalization:

  • Initial Letter Case
  • lower case

So, if you have selected some text like “siX MILlion Dollar mAn” each time you press Shift+F3 you’ll see it switch between “SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN” and “six million dollar man” and “Six Million Dollar Man”.

However! If you add some punctuation (like a period) at the end of what’s selected, instead of using Initial Letter Case, it’ll only capitalize the first letter of the sentence. So “I wiN!” will toggle between “I WIN!” and “i win!” and “I win!” (and not ever show “I Win!”).

66 thoughts on “Shift+F3: Change Case in Word and PowerPoint”

  1. I tried this and it worked like a charm for me. Did you remember to highlight the section of text that you wanted this to impact?

  2. The auto capitalization plagues me!
    My company’s name is spelled in all lowercase letters.
    Any idea on how to change the one word so that it never auto capitalizes at the beginning of a sentence?

  3. Nice shortcut – works fine for me in Word 03 :) Another handy shortcut is “Ctrl+Shift+K” which makes the text small caps – great for titles/headings.

    1. I’ve had loads of laptops that didn’t need the Fn key but I just got one that does. You have blessed me big time!! Thank you! It works.

  4. Finally got it to work… thanks for all the suggestion. My keyboard is newish and has a “Fn” lock key. I realized it needed to be active before the shortcut worked.

    Cheers to all!


    PS: estephen, the two dead ones (jk & dc)

  5. JoeyD, I’d suggest you look into Word’s “AutoCorrect” feature (under the Tools menu), then disable the feature that capitalizes at the beginning of the sentence.

  6. Shift F3 is great, but in the old MS version you were able to Title Case a sentence. Like I’m Writing This Sentance, Every Word First Letter Is Caps. Can anyone help with this? It was called Title Case!! I NEED HELP! It’s driving me batty.

  7. Linda, that’s the same as what I call “Initial Letter Case” — you can do that with Shift+F3 but only if there is no punctuation at the end of what you have selected.

  8. My wife uses MS Works and had a story typed in all caps. When I copied it to Word and went through the Toggle F-3 sequence to arrive at “capitalize initial letter of sentence” it capitalized only the initial letter of the sentence(s) inside the paragraph, not the opening sentence of the paragraph.. By trying out some text from other sources, it was no problem. Is there some idiosyncrasy of Works that causes this to happen?

  9. Shouldn’t it read ‘…you’ll see it switch between … and “Six Million Dollar Man”.’ because there is no punctuation in it? (The Original only has the first “S” a capital).

  10. I’ve been using the Shift F3 shortcut for years and find it extremely useful, especially because some people still use all caps, as if they were still programming on a 1980’s-era DOS machine, and when you copy that text, Shift F3 allows you to convert it quickly into something less primitive. :-)

    However, this feature quit working for me in Word 2007. As one of the previous posters indicated, the F-Lock key will disable the feature. I know that from past experience and it was one of the first things I investigated, but that is not what is causing the problem in my case. I suspect that I disabled it accidentally by changing the configuration of the AutoCorrect settings, or by some similar goof up, but so far I have not been able to figure out what I did to turn it off.

  11. Postscript. Banging on the various flavors and colors of “Normal” style finally restored this functionality. I suspect there is a Word bug in here somewhere, but I would not know how to repro it. :-(

  12. this feature used to work great and I loved it – BUT with my new macbook – F3 makes all open applications visible and no longer works in MS word… lame!

  13. Anyone know what the shortcut would be on a Mac running Leopard and I guess Word 2008? I used to be a PC user and love this shortcut but cannot find the toggle case for Word on this new computer. HELP!?!?

  14. Anne-Marie, thank you so much for the tip!!! I’ve been searching for this combination, even trying my untalented hands on installing macros and such. You’ve made my day! Week! Month! Yippieh!

  15. If you would like to do title case, where Every First Letter Will Be Capitalized, go to Format > Change Case… and selet Title Case.

  16. Can someone please tell me if there is any way of Initial Capitalising or Capitalising a sentence in Mail on MacBook? The solutions above work in Word but not Mail. Please help

  17. Howard, it’s working for me on O2k7 and Win7… Remember you need to select the text; you can’t just place the cursor within a block of text or a sentence.

  18. in O2007 U go to OfficeGlobe->Word Options->Customize, Change a value “Choose Commands from” 2 “All Comands” , and find “Aa Change Case…” shortcut. Add it 2 the Quick Access Toolbar. Done.

    Next to the Office Globe U now can see Aa… shortcut which let U choose from :
    – Sentence case
    – lowercase
    – Capitalize Each Word
    – tOGGLE cASE

    in old 2003 way, no punctuation marks problem.

  19. Tnx, looked at all the tips but my keyboard shortcut “SHIFT+F3” for Change Case STILL won’t work. Cld it be that i’m using MWword 2007 with an Addintool for Classic Menu or something else..?

  20. hey i am not able to convert capitals into lower case in some cases, y is it so? plz reply asap.. i need ur help.. in some words/ cases , it works..?

  21. That’s a good one. Thx for the tip. It will definitely save times for those who frequently need to change case of the text while editing.
    However for a comprehensive list for all the handy short cut visit the official Microsoft website :

    Have fun !!!

  22. The following are some of the very handy sort-cut keys for quick formatting or managing a MS word file:

    All Caps Lock CTRL+SHIFT+A
    Apply Heading1 ALT+CTRL+1
    Bookmark CTRL+SHIFT+F5
    Date Field ALT+SHIFT+D
    Dictionary ALT+SHIFT+F7
    Double Underline CTRL+SHIFT+D
    Next Misspelling ALT+F7
    Hyperlink CTRL+K
    Subscript CTRL+=
    Superscript CTRL+SHIFT+=

  23. I know I don’t share your Word religion, I’m the antichrist… but remember you should share your love even with non-believers :)

    Does anyone know of similar hotkeys to caps lock and the other ones you’re discussing that work in all windows text editing, and not just Word ? (I use notepad, wordpad, openoffice, web forums… not to mention file renaming :)).

    Or alternatively, if anyone can recommend some good, low-cpu-usage downloadable tool that provides multiple such functionally *all across the board* in windows 7… like:
    – multiple clip board
    – advanced text editing features (change upper\lower case, select blocks of text in the middle of text (rectangular, not bound to start and end of every line, (this was common in Amiga text editors)), etcetera.
    – other text editing and hotkey stuff

    (there has to exist one! But every time I search for tools like that I end up with 100 apps that are free but will cost you 40 bucks to unlock after it’s been installed along with a dozen useless toolbars + some spyware.

    i guess AutoHotkey or other third-party auto-complete/auto-replace programs could have, or be set up to have, such functionality. I only did extremely simple scripting in AutoHotkey and my scripts lagged a lot.

    Any ideas for anything helpful would be … helpful…! And highly appreciated :) if anyone replies, plz leave my a note at (“visualpost” is the first part of my adress at google’s well-known e-mail service..)

  24. Pingback: All About Mail
  25. Timmy,
    There are two levels of keyboard shortcuts: Windows and Application.
    Windows level works for all applications. So, when you push the ‘a’ key, you get a letter a, but when you Shift+a you get A.
    Application level allows the specific program to modify that behavior and it is usually set up so as not to conflict with the Windows level keys. So Ctrl+a usually (usually!) means ‘select all’, but only if the programmer included that one.

    In short, you can’t do the same keys in all editors. The programmers were all different and used different keys.

  26. Perhaps someone can help with this question.
    I want to define case within a style.

    For example, let’s create a style called “First Word” and have it automatically set the case to “Capitalaze Each Word” and small caps.

    Any thoughts?

  27. One problem I run across every so often is that this shortcut will not capitalize the first letter of each word if a list ends each line with a hard paragraph. By doing a search and replace, searching for ^p and replacing with ^l, that fixed the problem.

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