2 ways to use modern, ALL‑CAPS slides – without typos!

Some Scrabble letters showing a misspelled wordDo you sometimes follow the design trend of using uppercase text for headings or other short labels on your slides?

Recently, I’ve twice seen presen­tations with very modern-looking slides using all-uppercase text in brief cap­tions.

Whichever way you do it, making your slides look modern gives you 2 big benefits:

  • Professional-looking slides actually help you engage people more.
  • You’ll even be seen as more of an expert, so you’ll persuade people more, too.

Uppercase text has a big drawback

Mind you, uppercase text has a big drawback. Namely, PowerPoint doesn’t usually spell-check it, so there’s a much higher chance of you having typos on your slides. In which case, you don’t come across as professional (or even as expert) as you’d like.

And sure enough, both sets of slides I mentioned did have a typo lurking in their text.

Luckily though, you can use either of the 2 methods below to use uppercase text that does get spell-checked.


Method 1: Change PowerPoint’s options (Easiest and safest)

The easiest and most reliable method is to turn off the option that makes PowerPoint’s spelling-checker skip uppercase words:

  1. Choose File > Options.
  2. Open the Proofing tab.
  3. Remove the tick from the Ignore words in UPPERCASE option.
  4. Choose OK.
    On the Proofing tab of PowerPoint Options, deselect 'Ignore words in UPPERCASE'

The benefits of this approach are that it’s:

  • Quick – you can set it up with only about 4 clicks, yet it applies throughout all slides you work with.
  • Safe – it increases the amount of text that get spell-checked, so you’re more likely to spot typos.


Method 2: Format text as all caps (rather than typing in uppercase)

Sometimes, you might use a lot of uppercase words that you don’t want to be spell-checked. For instance, you and your audience might use lots of abbreviations, like for:

  • Departments or roles in your organisation
  • Technical terms in your industry.

In that case, you probably want to keep the option to ignore uppercase words when spell-checking. This 2nd method lets you do that, yet still use modern-looking uppercase text on your slides.

You can format text so it appears as all caps (instead of actually making it uppercase). That way, you can type it in lowercase, so it still gets spell-checked.

  1. Select the text (or the shapes) you want to format as all caps.
  2. Open the Font dialog box (by clicking the arrow at the bottom-right of the Font section on the Home tab, or by pressing Ctrl+T).
    Choose the arrow at the bottom-right of the Font section on the ribbon
  3. Choose the All Caps option.
  4. Choose OK.
    In the Font dialog box, choose All Caps

As well as letting you use abbreviations without PowerPoint spell-checking them, this method lets you more easily copy text to or from all caps on your slides and normal capitalisation elsewhere.

For instance, you might write speaking notes in the Notes pane in PowerPoint (or in a separate document), then copy words and phrases onto your slides. If you format the shapes on your slides to use all caps, you can paste plain text into them and it’ll be shown in all caps.

To paste plain text:

  1. Right-click where you want to put the text.
  2. Choose Keep Text Only under Paste Options (or press T).
    Right-click where you want ot paste the text, and then choose Paste Plain Text


Your turn

I hope you find these tips helpful. By all means share your thoughts about them below.


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2 thoughts on “2 ways to use modern, ALL‑CAPS slides – without typos!

  1. Thank you for this, I probably wouldn’t have thought of this. I agree with your second option. Upper and lower case are logically different and this is reflected in the spell check rules, despite the fact that we might want them appear the same sometimes. And one can imagine changing the formatting based on the audience or in the future when the trend moves on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great to hear your viewpoint Gary.

      I assume the reason for PowerPoint ignoring uppercase during spell-checking is purely because of abbreviations. When people use uppercase for full words, that setting becomes a problem.

      And good point about possibly changing the formatting in future, too.

      Thanks for chipping in.

      Liked by 1 person

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