How to convert data values of the Text data type to the proper case format in Microsoft Access

Note

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Moderate: Requires basic macro, coding, and interoperability skills.

This article applies to a Microsoft Access database (.mdb) file or to a Microsoft Access database (.accdb) file.

Summary

This article describes how to convert data values of the Text data type to the proper case format.

More information

The data values of Text data type can be converted to the proper case format by using one of the following methods:

  • Method 1: Use the Built-In String Conversion Function
  • Method 2: Use a User-Defined Function

Note Before you use either of these methods, create a sample table that is named MyTestTextList. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new blank database in Access.

  2. Create a new table with the following fields:

    Field Name: testText
    Data Type: Text
    
  3. Save the table as MyTestTextList.

  4. Add the following sample testText to the table:

    the cOw jumped Over the MOON
    
    THE QUICK BROWN FOX jUmped over THE lazy DOG 
    
    
  5. Save the database as MyTestDatabase.

Method 1: Use the built-in string conversion function

  1. Open the MyTestDatabase database in Access.

  2. On the Insert menu, click Query.

    Note In Microsoft Office Access 2007 or a later version, click Query Design in the Other group on the Create tab.

  3. In the New Query dialog box, click Design view.

    Note In Access 2007 or a later version, skip this step.

  4. In the Show Table dialog box, click Close.

  5. On the View menu, click SQL View.

    Note In Access 2007 or a later version, click SQL in the Results group on the Design tab.

  6. Type the following code in the SQL view:

    SELECT testText, STRCONV(testText,3) as  TestText_in_Proper_Case FROM MyTestTextList
    
  7. On the Query menu, click Run.

    Note In Access 2007 or a later version, click Run in the Results group on the Design tab.

    The output of the query follows:

    TestTextTestText_in_Proper_Case
    the cOw jumped Over the MOONThe Cow Jumped Over The Moon
    THE QUICK BROWN FOX jUmped overTHE lazy DOG The Quick Brown Fox Jumped Over The Lazy Dog
    

Note The StrConv(,3) method converts the first letter of every word in the text to uppercase. This behavior occurs only when the words are separated by a space or a tab. StrConv does not treat the special characters, such as - or $, as a word separator.

Method 2: Use a user-defined function

  1. Open the MyTestDatabase database in Access.

  2. On the Insert menu, click Module.

    Note In Access 2007 or a later version, click the drop-down arrow under Macro in the Other group on the Create tab.

  3. Type the following code in the current module and save your changes.

Function Proper(X)
Capitalize first letter of every word in a field.

Dim Temp$, C$, OldC$, i As Integer

If IsNull(X) Then

Exit Function

Else

Temp$ = CStr(LCase(X))

' Initialize OldC$ to a single space because first
           ' letter must be capitalized but has no preceding letter.

OldC$ = " "

For i = 1 To Len(Temp$)
                   C$ = Mid$(Temp$, i, 1)
                   If C$ >= "a" And C$ <= "z" And (OldC$ < "a" Or OldC$ > "z") Then
                         Mid$(Temp$, i, 1) = UCase$(C$)
                   End If
                   OldC$ = C$
            Next i

Proper = Temp$

End If

End Function

Note You must specify Option Compare Database in the "Declarations" section of this module for the function to work correctly.

  1. On the File menu, click Close and Return to Microsoft Access.

    Note On the File menu, click Closefor Access 97.

  2. On the Insert menu, click Query.

    Note In Access 2007 or a later version, click Query Design in the Other group on the Create tab.

  3. In the New Query dialog box, click Design view.

    Note In Access 2007 or a later version, skip this step.

  4. In the Show Table dialog box, click Close.

  5. On the View menu, click SQL View.

    Note In Access 2007 or a later version, click SQL in the Results group on the Design tab.

  6. Type the following code in the SQL view:

    SELECT testText, proper(testText) as  testText_in_Proper_Case FROM MyTestTextList
    

    Notice that this query is similar to the query in Method 1. This is except for the function call.

  7. On the Query menu, click Run.

    Note In Access 2007 or a later version, click Run in the Results group on the Design tab.

    The output of the query follows:

    TestTextTestText_in_Proper_Case
    the cOw jumped Over the MOONThe Cow Jumped Over The Moon
    THE QUICK BROWN FOX jUmped overTHE lazy DOG The Quick Brown Fox Jumped Over The Lazy Dog
    

While the output of both methods is similar, Method 2 gives you the flexibility to select any case format. This includes a chosen word separator such as - or _. You can define the required case format, or you can define a word separator. You can do this if you modify the Proper function that is mentioned in step 3.