A few weeks ago following a Shoegnome tweet there was some fun discussion on Twitter regarding the Architectural use of ALL CAPS.  AM I YELLING AT YOU?  OR AM I JUST TRYING TO BE 'ARCHITECTY'?

Why DO so many in architecture still use ALL CAPS?  Including ourselves.

Really.  Why?

Then a couple days later someone in the office asked me about that trick we looked at during a Tuesday Tutorial some time ago to "fix" some standard case text into ALL CAPS so that it can be used in one of our ARCHICAD Projects.  In that tutorial, we looked at copying a bunch of text in Standard case into Microsoft Word, selecting it, right-clicking, going to Font, and check-boxing to get the text to display in ALL CAPS...only to find out that it didn't maintain the ALL CAPS when pasted from there into an ARCHICAD text editing box.  So then the trick - one my wife (who is a bit of a Microsoft Excel nerd) showed me:

If we paste the standard case text into a cell in Microsoft Excel (say A1), then click into another cell (say, A2) and enter this formula: =UPPER(CONCATENATE(A1)), we'll get an ALL CAPS version of our standard case text in cell A2.  Then we can copy our new, louder text into ARCHICAD for maximum volume, er-, maximum Architectiness.

Shortly after showing that trick last year, I ran across a link online (also on Twitter) and then had another ARCHICAD User in the office send a link today to the same place: http://convertcase.net/  This web-based method for changing capitalization seems even easier than the Excel hack and has a bit more options: Sentence case, lower case, UPPER CASE, Capitalized Case, & aLtErNaTiNg cAsE.  Then you can either download the results as a .txt file or copy to your clipboard to paste where you need it.

More and more automatic data in ARCHICAD can be utilized if we are willing to accept standard case capitalization in Architectural practice.  (We already do - in the form of our Code Data North Carolina Appendix B and UL Design information we routinely place in every single set of drawings.)

So, are we going to stop using ALL CAPS on our drawings?  I don't know.  I'd sure like to.  It is probably a decision that requires some changing of minds.  There are studies that support the efficiency of reading sentence case text versus ALL CAPS.  Sentence case takes up less space as well.  "Because we've always done it this way," is not a reason to continue to do it.  If that were an argument that carried any weight, would we even be using ARCHICAD right now?

Don't consider this a change in our daily practice, but feel free to give this some thought and let me know your thoughts on the subject.  Do some poking around online; there are a lot of practices moving away from ALL CAPS.  In many instances, ALL CAPS can be reserved for abbreviations and acronyms, LOL.