Headline capitalization without converting acronyms to lowercase?

I just spent a little while editing the titles of all my references so they are in sentence case, with appropriate capitalization for proper names and acronyms (e.g., “GHG”). I may sometimes need to use these titles with headline style capitalization, and Endnote conveniently provides an option for this in the output styles. However, this feature is both too sophisticated and not sophisticated enough for what I want to do. 

If I let Endnote convert my titles to Headline Capitals, it does a pretty good job of adding initial capitals where they are needed. But it also converts all my acronyms into mostly lower-case, which I don’t want. It would be much more helpful if Endnote just left alone any capital letters that already exist within the title.

In a nutshell, I would like to manage the capitalization of my own titles, keeping them in sentence case, and then I would like Endnote only to add capitals to convert to Headline case, but never to remove capitals from any words in the title. Unfortunately, Endnote instead seems to assume that all of my titles are randomly capitalized, and it does its best to sort it out, destroying my acronyms along the way.

One solution for this problem would be to add an option to Endnote that says “do not remove any capital letters when converting to headline capitals”. Then people could manually keep their library in sentence capitals, and use this option when converting to headline capitals.

Another approach would be to make Endnote smarter about how it converts text when capitalizing, along these lines:

(1) Check whether a title is currently written in all-capitals. If it is, Endnote should make its best guess about how to convert to sentence or headline capitalization; errors are unavoidable in this case (no pun intended).

(2) If the title is not currently written in all-caps, Endnote should have a rule that it never adds or removes initial capital letters for words that contain one or more capitals after the first letter (e.g., “GHG,” “iPod,” “NOx”). Otherwise, it can follow the same approach as it uses now.

It would also be helpful if Endnote used a dictionary when converting to sentence capitals, to avoid outputting words like “california”, but I know that wouldn’t work for everything (e.g. “Intermittency Analysis Project”). However, even without a dictionary, a perfect outcome could always be achieved if users manually maintain titles in sentence case, and choose “Leave titles as entered” when sentence capitals are needed, or use Endnote with the more sophisticated behavior outlined above when headline capitals are needed.

Endnote has a list of stop words for capitalization in the Preferences dialog box, but that is a clumsy solution to the problem. Most people don’t know about this dialog box, there is no real need for them to use it (if Endnote provided the more sophisticated behavior above), and people will inevitably forget to add some acronyms to it.

I don’t know whether this forum is the place to request features that don’t exist in Endnote yet, but I thought I’d at least write it up and see what people think.

P.S. it would also be nice to have an option somewhere in the edit menu to permanently convert selected text into headline capitals or sentence capitals. This would help a lot when entering new references by copying and pasting snippets of text from other documents. But that’s a separate issue.

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I completely agree with the previous poster. Has anyone figured out a way around this problem? Or has Thomson Reuters / Endnote addressed it in the intervening years since the previous post? I know that I can change the output filter to keep capitalization “as entered” but then I would have to go and reformat every single other title in my bibliography. This should be an easy problem to solve.


Endnote still allows the user to use the change case options in preferences to enter the acronyms.  It still doesn’t allow the option to keep anything uppercased, uppercased when you are converting from Sentence to headline or back though.  Personally this doesn’t bother me.  

Another tweak that would be nice is to be able to have Endnote recognize that the word following U.S. does not need to be capped in sentence case, and to have the option of turning on or off capping for words following a colon. Also for the Do Not Change list to sort in alphabetical order.

Or maybe I’m missing it. I guess I will stick with manually changing everything and having different libraries for different projects.


EN X7.3