Imagine that Excel is open, and you're looking at an untidy group of names. Instead of making dozens or hundreds of individual changes, you could use a single formula to make sure that only the first letter of each word is capitalized. First, you would type this formula in cell B2:

**=PROPER(A2)**

The equal sign (=) tells Excel that this is a formula. The PROPER function is a prewritten formula that capitalizes the first letter of each word in a cell, and changes all other letters to no capitals, the pattern seen in many proper names of people and places. Parentheses separate the function from its arguments, which tell PROPER what to work with. A2 is a cell reference.

The result of the formula would be for Nancy's first and last names to appear, beginning with capital letters, in cell B2.

**Note** In the practice session at the end of the lesson you'll have a chance to use the LOWER and UPPER functions, not shown here, to change text to no capitals and all capitals.