Word: Change upper case names on the ribbon to lower case

September 17, 2015

Word 2013… Why do you have to SHOUT at me? Whose design decision was it to use upper case on the tab titles on the ribbon in all Office 2013 programs? Every readability study going back decades says that all upper case is much harder to read than lower case or sentence case.

There are a lot of other readability/design issues with Word (and Office) 2013, but for today I’ll just tackle the upper case issue. And give you the good news that it’s easy to change. The bad news is that you have to change them one at a time in each program, and that some can’t be changed (see the note below). But it’s a one-off task that will only take a few minutes.

Here’s how you change the upper case words on the tabs to sentence case (i.e. initial capital letter) in Word 2013 (other Office programs will be similar):

  1. Open Word 2013.
  2. Go to File > Options.
  3. Click Customize ribbon on the left.
  4. In the panel on the right side, change the top selection to All Tabs.
  5. In that panel, click Home to select it.
  6. Click Rename below the panel.
  7. Leave the name as it is but add a space after it. This space is critical.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Repeat steps 5 to 8 for the other top-level tab names, adding a space at the end of each one.
  10. When you’re finished, click OK to close the Options window.

Almost all your tab names are now in sentence case!

NOTE: Not all tab names can be changed — I couldn’t find any way to change the FILE tab or the ADD-INS tab, nor the TABLE TOOLS or PICTURE TOOLS etc. super-headings, though I’m sure there’s a Registry hack that could do that.

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