Microsoft KB Archive/253911

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Article ID: 253911

Article Last Modified on 6/28/2004


  • Microsoft Access 2000 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q253911

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

This article applies only to a Microsoft Access database (.mdb).

For a Microsoft Access 2002 version of this article, see 298607.


This article provides examples for using a built-in function called StrConv that you can use to capitalize the first character of a word or a set of words. This function is not affected by leading spaces, but it does have the following limitations for some names:

  • Changes "MacDonald" to "Macdonald."
  • Changes "van Buren" to "Van Buren."
  • Changes "James Pratt VI" to "James Pratt Vi."


The StrConv function can be used to change the case of a string to uppercase, lowercase, or so that the first letter is uppercase. The syntax is StrConv(string, conversion, where "string" is the text string and "conversion" is 1, 2, or 3. For "conversion," uppercase is 1, lowercase is 2, and 3 makes the first letter of each word uppercase.

When writing the StrConv function in Visual Basic for Applications, instead of the integers 1, 2, or 3, you can also use one of the following constants:

vbUpperCase Converts the entire string to uppercase.
vbLowerCase Converts the entire string to lowercase.
vbProperCase Converts the first letter of each word to uppercase and the remaining letters to lowercase.

NOTE: The StrConv function has more constants than just the three that are mentioned here; however, this article focuses only on the three constants that are used for case conversion.

Demonstrating the StrConv Function

  1. Start Microsoft Access, and then open a new blank database.
  2. Create a new table with the following fields:

       Field Name: FirstName
       Data Type: Text
       Field Name: LastName
       Data Type: Text

    Save the table as MyNamesList.

  3. Add the following sample names to the table:

       john chen
       joanna fuller
       becki culbert
       jeff smith

Using StrConv in Code in the AfterUpdate Property of a Control

  1. Create a new form based on the MyNamesList table.
  2. Add text box controls for the FirstName and LastName fields by dragging the field names from the Field List box.
  3. If the property sheet is not visible, click Properties on the View menu.
  4. Set the AfterUpdate property of the LastName text box to the following event procedure:

    Private Sub LastName_AfterUpdate()
    LastName = StrConv(LastName, vbProperCase)
    End Sub
  5. On the File menu, click Close and Return to Microsoft Access.
  6. Open the form that you created in Step 1 in Form view, and enter some new names in lowercase. Note that when you return to these records, the names are now correctly capitalized.

Using StrConv in a Query

  1. Create a new query based on the MyNamesList table, and then type the following line in the first Field cell of the query design grid:

    FullName: =StrConv([LastName] & ", " & [FirstName], 3)

  2. Run the query.

    The last names and first names are concatenated and any names beginning with lowercase are converted so that the first letter is uppercase.

Using StrConv in a Macro

  • Create a new macro called Proper with the following specifications:

    Action: SetValue
    Item: Screen.ActiveControl
    Expression: StrConv(Screen.ActiveControl,3)

    NOTE: You can call this macro from the AfterUpdate property of a control on a form. This has the same effect as the first method.


For more information about other constants of StrConv function, in the Visual Basic Editor, click Microsoft Visual Basic Help on the Help menu, type strconv in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.

Additional query words: proper

Keywords: kbhowto kbprogramming KB253911