Change the Case of Text in PowerPoint Presentations

Already entered your text? Use these methods to change case

Change case of PowerPoint text
Screen shot © Wendy Russell

PowerPoint supports two different methods for changing the case of text that you have already entered into your presentation. These methods are: 

  1. Using shortcut keys on your keyboard.
  2. Using the Home tab Font section.

Change Case Using Shortcut Keys

Keyboard shortcuts are useful for just about any program, as a fast alternative to using the mouse. PowerPoint supports the Shift+F3 shortcut to toggle between the three most common selections for changing text case – uppercase (all caps), lowercase (no caps) and title case (each word is capitalized).

Highlight the text to switch and press Shift+F3 to cycle between the three settings.

Change Case Using the Drop-Down Menu

  1. Select the text.
  2. In the Font section of the Home tab on the ribbon, click the Change Case button as shown in the image above.
  3. Select your choice from the drop down list from these items:
    • Sentence case will capitalize the first letter in the selected sentence or bullet point
    • lowercase will convert the selected text to lowercase, without exception
    • UPPERCASE will convert the selected text to an all-caps setting (note, though, that numbers will not shift to punctuation symbols)
    • Capitalize Each Word, sometimes called title case, the first letter of each word in the selected text will earn a capital letter, although true "title case" does not capitalize articles and short prepositions after the first word
    • tOGGLE cASE, in which the case of each letter of the selected text will change to the opposite of the current case; this feature helps if you had inadvertently left the Caps Lock key switched on.

Considerations

PowerPoint's case-changing tools are helpful, but not foolproof. Using the sentence case converter will not preserve the formatting of proper nouns, for example, and capitalize each word will do exactly what it says, even if some words like or of should remain lowercase in composition titles.

The use of text case within PowerPoint presentations mixes a bit of art with a bit of science. Most people do not like all-caps text because it reminds them of "shouting by email," but the limited and strategic use of all-caps headers can set text apart on a slide. 

Within any given presentation, the chief virtue is consistency. All the slides should use text formatting, typography and spacing similarly; varying things too often among the slides confuses the visual presentation and appears both messy and amateurish. Rules of thumb for self-editing your slides include:

  • Either capitalize or punctuate all bullets, or no bullets.
  • If you render a slide's header title in title case, the case and punctuation of your bullets matters less than if you render your slide titles as short, complete sentences. Short-sentence titles usually look better with bullets presented as correctly formatted complete sentences.
  • Avoid rendering long blocks of text in title case.