How to check and correct label capitalisation

It doesn't matter how you do label capitalisation, what matters is having a consistent approach and sticking to it.

I'd forgive you for thinking that this is just me getting completely carried away about consistency and standards. After all, how we capitalise a label has no bearing on how well a model does its job of helping people make important decisions.

It is an area where a considerable amount of "scrappiness" can creep into our models, however. And like it or not, many people will judge your models based on how they look.

We use the following capitalisation convention in our model, which all team members follow:

  • Column A headings: ALL CAPS
  • Column B & C headings: First-word capitalisation only apart from acronyms
  • Row labels: First-word capitalisation only apart from acronyms

Just like spelling, and duplicate labels, it's easy for mistakes and inconsistencies to creep in just because we are humans and we forget.

In the Productivity Pack macros, we have a tool that will check the capitalisation and correct it.

Important note: our capitalisation convention is "hard-coded" into the macro. If you follow a different convention, this macro will not work in your model.

Managing the list of exceptions

The macros contain a list of words that we expect to be capitalised. When checking capitalisation the macro will ignore the words on this list.

To add to the exceptions list:

Ctrl+alt+e

This will open up the following dialogue:

The list of capitalisation exceptions is on the right. To add a new exception type it in to the "New exception words" box and hit return.

Anything on this list will be ignored when running the capitalisation check.

Running the capitalisation check

To begin the check:

Ctrl+shift+6, followed by 5

(Note: You can select the sheets you want to run this on. If you don't select a sheet it will run on the active sheet).

The macro behaves like a spell checker. It will highlight labels where the text does not follow the capitalisation convention and suggest an alternative. For example on the page below, Equity has a capital E whereas it should have a lower case E as it's not at the start of the label.  

The macro will check the heading columns A-C, and the labels in column E.

You can review the selections one by one, or just instruct the macro to update all at once.  

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