Does it make sense to have 'Case' more accessible?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/05/28 03:11 -04:00, original URI:

Regular reader Ivan Petrov asked in the Suggestion Box:

Hi Michael

I'm wondering have you ever thinked about adding to the Windows basic text shortcut menu, which consists of the folowing items:

Select All

an 'Change Case' item?

So, did you know such a program, which adds this extension to the Windows basic text shortcut menu?

Or maybe better - This to be a good idea for making another PowerToy program for windows ;-)


Well, I usually like to use (as a good indication of items that might belong on these sorts of right-click 'context sensitive' menus) a pretty high standard -- like is it something that people will commonly need?

Or, to look at it a different way -- is it a commonly used feature in a program like Word? I don't even think there is a toggle for this at all, is there?

I am not sure this idea meets the test there -- how common would the operation really be?

Looked at yet another way, and to answer the other question -- I do not know of anyone who does this now, for any control....

Now if a common usage was found, there is the problem of how the text would be changed by the "Change Case" item -- upper? Or lower? Or reversed from the current casing? Obviously there would have to be separate operations -- multiple menu items for at least the upper and lower choices. That is a lot of real estate in a menu that does need to kept simple....

Of course even for the default controls like the EDIT control and items like the Windows Explorer, these are all separate menu handlers, each of which would need this code added somewhat globally. This can also obviously be problenatic.

As luck would have it, the team that has to think about issues with this type of scope -- the Shell team -- has a few members who read this blog. So I can say that I have passed on the idea by even having this blog post!

Though I can't say I would recommend this one myself; I don't think usage would be all that common for the vast majority of people....

Can anyone think of a situation where this would be commonly needed?


This post brought to you by "" (U+0ecb, a.k.a. KANNADA DIGIT FIVE)
(A letter with no casing worries, whatsoever!)

# Vorn on 28 May 2006 8:38 AM:

I use Change Case a lot.

Granted, I'm not your average user of Office.

What I /don't/ get is why you've got both Change Case and case formatting in Word.


# Michael S. Kaplan on 28 May 2006 12:01 PM:

Hmmm... I am not sure where those features are in Office, exactly (I never ran across them before). I'll have to dig into Office a bit and see what I can find out.

# Dean Harding on 29 May 2006 10:03 PM:

"Change Case" changes the actual underlying text to whatever case you ask, while the case formatting options just change how the text is displayed (the underlying text's case is preserved).

# Jason Clark on 22 Jun 2006 6:28 PM:

In Word, I use Change Case by the hotkey, Shift+F3. It updates the case of your selection depending on the current case. Lower case turns into initial caps, initial turns to upper, and upper to lower. If there's no selection, the same case change is applied to the word your cursor's in.

I use it all the time to correct missing caps when I'm editing text--I can always just hit Shift+F3 instead of bothering to think about what letter to retype.

I don't know that I'd use it too often in EDIT controls elsewhere in Windows, but it's great in Word.

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