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How to capitalize the first letter in Javascript?

Tim Mouskhelichvili
Tim Mouskhelichvili
3 minutes to read
JavaScript Capitalize First Letter

In JavaScript, there is a lot of different ways to capitalize the first letter of a string.

You can capitalize the first letter with a combination of built-in javascript functions, with regex expressions and, even with CSS.

Read this article to find out your favorite new way. 😎

How to capitalize the first letter in JavaScript?

1. Using the charAt() with the slice() function

To capitalize the first letter of a string you need to follow these steps:

  1. Get the first character with the charAt() function
  2. Uppercase it with the toUpperCase() function.
  3. Concatenate the rest of the string to the uppercased character.
javascriptconst str = "this is a very long string!";

// This will return: "This is a very long string!"
console.log(str.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + str.slice(1));

2. Using the replace() function

You can also capitalize the first letter of a string by using the replace() function and a regex.

  1. You create a regex that will only match the first character (this is the regex: /./).
  2. With the replace() function, you uppercase the first character by matching the regex.
typescriptconst str = "this is a very long string!";

// This will return: "This is a very long string!"
console.log(str.replace(/./, c => c.toUpperCase()));

3. Using CSS

You can also capitalize the first letter using the CSS text-transform property and the ::first-letter selector.

JavaScript Capitalize First Letter
xml<div id="my_title">this is a very long string!</div>
<style>
    #my_title::first-letter {
        text-transform: capitalize;
    }
</style>

4. Using Lodash

Alternatively, you can use lodash to do this for you.

Lodash has a special capitalize() function.

javascriptconst str = "this is a very long string!";

_.capitalize(str);

How to capitalize the first letter of each word?

1. Using a regex

To capitalize the first letter of each word you can use the replace() function with a regex.

typescriptconst str = 'this is a very long string!';

// This will return: "This Is A Very Long String!"
console.log(str.replace(/(^\w|\s\w)/g, m => m.toUpperCase()));

Here is a table explaining this regex:

CharactersMeaning
^Matches the beginning of an input.
\wMatches any alphanumeric character.
\sMatches a single whitespace character.

The g modifier means global. It means that the regex will find all matches.

2. Using the map() function

Also, you can capitalize the first letter of each word by following these steps:

  1. Make all the text lowercase.
  2. Split all the words inside an array.
  3. Iterate through each word inside the array using the map() function and uppercase the first letter.
  4. Transform the array into a string using the join() function.
typescriptlet str = 'this is a very long string!';

str = str.toLowerCase()
    .split(' ')
    .map((s) => s.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + s.substring(1))
    .join(' ');

// This will return: "This Is A Very Long String!"
console.log(str);

3. Using a for loop

You can also capitalize the first letter of each word by looping through each word with a for loop using the length property.

javascriptconst words = 'this is a very long string!'.split(" ");

for (let i = 0; i < words.length; i++) {
    words[i] = words[i][0].toUpperCase() + words[i].substr(1);
}

const str = words.join(' ');

// This will return: "This Is A Very Long String!"
console.log(str);

4. Using CSS

If you don't want to use JavaScript, we have good news for you!

You can use the CSS text-transform property to archive the same result.

JavaScript Capitalize First Letter
xml<div id="my_title">this is a very long string!</div>
<style>
    #my_title {
        text-transform: capitalize;
    }
</style>

How to capitalize all the letters in a word?

To capitalize all the letters of a string you need to use the toUpperCase() built-in function. You learn more by reading the article that I have written about the toUpperCase function.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there is a lot of different ways to choose from when you want to capitalize the first letter of a string.

In my case, when I develop a new application, I create a helper function called capitalize(str: string) in my utils file and import it whenever I need to use it.

I hope you liked this article, please share it!

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