Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Being Proper

Importing data, and especially names, from outside databases can initially result in less-than-ideal formats in Excel.  Having a list of names imported from a source other than Excel can result in all upper-case, all lower-case, or even a mixture of both!

Now, this is not a big deal when it comes to analyzing the data, (in fact, some nerdy sorts seem to take pride in ignoring Proper capitalization), but it lacks a professional touch that can be easily corrected.

It would be quite absurd to consider changing the capitalization of the names Manually (how ridiculous would that be…). So what do you do when you download 7,000 names, and you want to change them to the Proper case?  The PROPER function comes to the rescue!

To illustrate this, let’s say that you have imported a database of your company’s employee names, and you have put them into a list that runs from A2 to A7002. In cell B2, insert the following simple formula:


Give the handle in the lower-right corner of cell B2 a quick double-click to copy this simple formula down to the bottom of your list, and Bamm! Proper Names! 

One Final Note, if your database list contains names such as McElroy or DeLeon in it, you will probably need to change those manually. And if you have any Really Odd Names like DeLaMartre (my own…), then you will most surely need to make some adjustments by hand.  Ah, well, nothing’s perfect. You could, of course, come up with a sophisticated IF formula to handle these cases, but you may need to weigh the effort versus the results. Ah, well, nothing’s perfect.  

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