In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the UPPER formula in Excel, which is used to convert text to uppercase. We will cover the syntax, examples, tips and tricks, common mistakes, troubleshooting, and related formulae. By the end of this article, you will have a thorough understanding of the UPPER formula and how to use it effectively in your Excel spreadsheets.

UPPER Syntax

The syntax for the UPPER formula in Excel is quite simple:


Where text is the text you want to convert to uppercase. This can be a cell reference, a text string enclosed in double quotes, or a combination of both.

UPPER Examples

Let’s look at some examples of how to use the UPPER formula in Excel:

Example 1: Converting a single word to uppercase

If you have the word “hello” in cell A1 and you want to convert it to uppercase, you can use the following formula:


This will return the result “HELLO” in the cell where you entered the formula.

Example 2: Converting a sentence to uppercase

If you have the sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” in cell A2, you can use the UPPER formula to convert the entire sentence to uppercase:


This will return the result “THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPS OVER THE LAZY DOG” in the cell where you entered the formula.

Example 3: Converting a text string within the formula

You can also use the UPPER formula to convert a text string directly within the formula. For example, if you want to display the word “excel” in uppercase, you can use the following formula:


This will return the result “EXCEL” in the cell where you entered the formula.

UPPER Tips & Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks to help you use the UPPER formula more effectively in Excel:

Tip 1: Combine UPPER with other text functions

You can combine the UPPER formula with other text functions in Excel to manipulate and format text in various ways. For example, you can use the CONCATENATE function to join text strings and convert the result to uppercase:

=UPPER(CONCATENATE(“The “, “quick “, “brown “, “fox”))

This will return the result “THE QUICK BROWN FOX” in the cell where you entered the formula.

Tip 2: Use UPPER with conditional formatting

You can use the UPPER formula in combination with conditional formatting to highlight cells that contain lowercase text. For example, you can create a conditional formatting rule that applies a specific format to cells where the UPPER formula returns a different value than the original text:


This will apply the conditional formatting to any cell that contains lowercase text.

Common Mistakes When Using UPPER

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when using the UPPER formula in Excel:

Mistake 1: Forgetting to enclose text strings in double quotes

When using the UPPER formula with a text string, make sure to enclose the text in double quotes. For example, the following formula will result in an error:


Instead, use double quotes around the text string:


Mistake 2: Using incorrect cell references

Make sure to use the correct cell reference when using the UPPER formula. For example, if your text is in cell A1, the following formula will not work:


Instead, use the correct cell reference:


Why Isn’t My UPPER Working?

If your UPPER formula isn’t working as expected, consider the following troubleshooting steps:

Step 1: Check for typos in the formula

Make sure you have entered the UPPER formula correctly, without any typos or syntax errors. Double-check the cell references and ensure that text strings are enclosed in double quotes.

Step 2: Verify that the text contains lowercase characters

The UPPER formula will only change the case of lowercase characters. If your text is already in uppercase or contains only numbers and special characters, the UPPER formula will not have any effect.

Step 3: Check for merged cells or custom formatting

If the UPPER formula appears to have no effect on the text in a cell, check if the cell is merged with another cell or if custom formatting is applied. Merged cells and custom formatting can sometimes cause issues with text functions in Excel.

UPPER: Related Formulae

Here are some related formulae that you might find useful when working with text in Excel:


The LOWER formula converts text to lowercase. This is the opposite of the UPPER formula:



The PROPER formula capitalizes the first letter of each word in a text string and converts the rest of the characters to lowercase:


3. LEN

The LEN formula returns the length of a text string, counting the number of characters:



The LEFT formula extracts a specified number of characters from the beginning of a text string:

LEFT(text, [num_chars])


The RIGHT formula extracts a specified number of characters from the end of a text string:

RIGHT(text, [num_chars])

By mastering the UPPER formula and its related functions, you can effectively manipulate and format text in your Excel spreadsheets, making your data more readable and organized.


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