Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Proper English

This week’s topic arises from yet another External Database that I imported into Excel recently. In addition to using the import functions native to Excel, software such as MYSQL, Filemaker, Adabas, and others do a wonderful job in the hands of skilled practitioners.

As is often the case, the data you import into Excel pays little heed to Proper Capitalization. All lowercase is quite common, even when it is a list of Proper Names. This is not crucially important, as it probably doesn’t affect your recordkeeping or data calculations, but it certainly doesn’t look very professional!

No Excel Guru is worth his or her lofty title if they even consider changing the capitalization of the names Manually (the thought probably makes you shudder…). So what do you do when you download 3,000 names, and you want to change them to the Proper case? The answer is, of course, use the PROPER function! (It really is Proper, you know…)

For example, let’s say that you have imported a database of employee names, and you have popped them into a list that runs from A2 to A3002. In cell B2, simply insert the following formula:


Give the handle of B2 a quick double-click to copy this simple formula down to the bottom of your list, and Alacazam! Proper Names!

It’s Not Perfect

If your list contains names such as McAndrews or MacDonald, or something really offbeat such as DeLaMartre, (there are only about 10 of us in the U.S.), you will probably need to change those manually. Ah, well, nothing’s perfect, eh?...

No comments: