Word Flow

Capitalize words easily in Windows Phone 8.1 with this simple trick

Windows Phone 8.1 has brought a lot of new features, most of which we detailed in our massive review and overview. Now, we’re picking up the crumbs with all the little improvements.

Word Flow is what Microsoft calls their keyboard technology, which also now includes Shape writing. Word Flow has the best auto-complete and text prediction engines around, but how do you capitalize a word when using Shape writing?

Shape writing is the new swipe keyboard feature that allows you ‘draw’ the word instead of touch-typing. Simply drag your finger across the display to each letter and let the Word Flow keyboard do the rest. But it may not be clear how to capitalize a word that is not in the dictionary for auto-complete. Swiping to the shift key doesn’t work. Luckily, Microsoft has you covered. You don't want to miss this tip!

Shape Writing

How to quickly capitalize words with Word Flow (Windows Phone 8.1 only)

When using Shape writing and you have a word that you want capitalized, just follow these steps:

  1. Swipe the word and finish your sentence/note
  2. Tap the word you want to change, make sure it is highlighted (see lede image)
  3. Hit the Shift key (lower left on keyboard; it looks like ‘↑’)
  4. Tapping Shift key once capitalizes the first letter; twice to capitalize the whole word; three times to cycle back

The benefit to this method is that you can go back to any word in your email, text or note to make this change. What’s more, it is way easier than using the keyboard caret to place before the first letter, deleting and ‘shift + letter’ to get the same effect in case you need to make an edit. Same if you have to capitalize the entire word. Sure, you can hit Shift when typing the word, but this is great for quick edits. Regardless, the choice is now yours.

Capitalization of proper names should already be in the Word Flow dictionary, as well as your contact’s names, which now get auto-imported in 8.1. Still, for new words or things that not usually capitalized, this trick should save you significant time, especially when using Shape writing.

Thanks, Wes and others, for the tip!


Reader comments

Capitalize words easily in Windows Phone 8.1 with this simple trick



I learn this just yesterday after I used copy and paste. Would've tip you guys off but there's always someone that says "you didn't know that?!?!" or "read!!!"

Now my Lumia 520 is near to perfect smartphone with all basic features like notification,auto app update etc

The article title looks like one of those diet ads... "...this one simple trick..." haha I thought that was funny.

The new cursor system is rather disappointing. They seem to have tried way too hard to imitate Android. Loved the one in WP8 where you could hold and the cursor popped up above. This ones just more complicated.

Why oh why couldn't they have copied the one from BB 10?  Tap to place the carat like usual, but the carat has a big ring around it that you can tap to move the cursor in the four directions a line or character at a time.

Despite the circle clearly put under the cursor, I didn't realize that was a grabbing point. I thought it was just different look to the previous endpoints (which we quite frustrating to use and correctly highlight anything before).

So, I've been trying to just move my fat finger over words (they extend the cursor ever so slightly above your finger) sort of like the method of old... which slightly better success vs the old pop up method, but truth be told that old method was frustrating as well, having to pop it up and drag it down, having your finger go over UI elements, or the cursor itself falling off thus requiring you to reinvoke it.

BUT now that I know that little circle under is a handle... OH BOY, it now works wonderfully. It's like my whole world has been flipped upside.. I can finally place a cursor inside a word correctly without cursing up a storm myself. Also selecting multiple words feels soooooooo much better now as well... it's like it actually finally works. :D

Less complicated to me. The cursor pops up, the. You can accurately drag it to where it needs to be. With the old cursor,your thumb covered the word

Didn't know this, just tried it and very easy to use. So many new new functions to discover just loving it.

Only if you manage to touch between words. Most of the time I end up highlighting a word instead of placing the cursor. Why the ducking duck did they remove the option to press and hold for placing the cursor?
Meanwhile on Window 8.1 - first touch places the cursor before or after a word, second touch highlights a word.
No ducking consistency.

Same thing just a bit difference...first touch highlights..second touch end of word sometimes beginning of word ...hold the circle move it...thats it...

You're doing it the old way.

This is the new way...

The slow way (do this for practice). First tap the word you want to edit, it will highlight the word. And then tap again, a cursor with a circle below it will appear. (Tap on the right side of the word the cursor wil appear at the end of the word. Tap on the left side the cursor will appear at the beginning.)

Touch the circle and drag it left or right, you can drag you finger  further away from the word so you can see the cursor without your finger obstructing.

After a few practice, you can do the quick way, double tap on the word you want to edit (the cursor will appear at the end of the word), and then slide your finger to move the cursor.

I hope WP Central make a video tutorial about this just to show how easier and faster to edit words now in WP 8.1.

This new method is actually faster as the cursor appears as soon as you touch the editor.  With the old method you'd have to long press it and wait for the cursor to fly out.

I'm glad that someone brought this up.I was really used to the old cursor,Although the new one is frustrating I am some how getting around it.

Can I use Word Flow without separate my finger from the screen?, I mean, write a whole sentence, including spaces, without have to press the space bar? I haven't been able to do this, but in an Android device this is posible. Maybe I just don't know how to doit or it is not possible.

Really? because I've tried this numerous times and never gotten it to work? Are you swiping down to spacebar? or just going from word to word? are you pausing between words?

I've tried all sorts of different methods and each time Shape Writing thinks it's just one big long word.

Oddly enough, trying to do it and swiping spacebar feels really weird, maybe because I'm just used to ignoring space bar? Regardless unless it could really understand sentences, lifting for each word actually feels superior for me vs trying to get it to work by just swiping whole sentences.

If you're lifting your finger... then that's not what was originally asked...

Of course you can type sentences by lifting your finger, that's exactly how it's meant to work! You lift your finger in between words... that's how Shape Writing works...

What they were asking is if you can do it without lifting your finger at all, just one continous swiping motion. Which apparently you are confirming is not the case... you have to lift your finger.

I haven't used Swype or the Google equivalent, but apparently you can write entire sentences without ever lifting your finger, at least according to Jaun it is.

That is what Jaun is asking for.

So... to answer Jaun: No it does not appear possible with Shape Writing. You have to lift your finger inbetween each word. Which on a personal note, feels great. By far the best way to type on a touch screen I've used. :D

Just tried it, no space required, just lift finger slightly and swipe next word, wow really quick.

If you're lifting your finger off of the keyboard at all... as in breaking contact with the screen, then that's not what is being asked, that's just standard way to type with Shape Writing.

If you mean you're somehow keeping contact with the screen and just lowering pressing... then I am completely unable to repro that in the slightest. I can try to press hard and lightly lift, while still keeping contact, and it just thinks it's one big word. I've tried smaller phrases, simple sentences, etc.

The *only* way I can get it correctly work is to completely break contact with the screen.... which again.... is how Shape Writing works, word by word. The original question was not for that... it was if you can continuosly hold down your finger, never lifting it even slightly, and write entire sentences. If you are breaking contact with the screen at all, then that's not what is being asked for by Jaun.

Again personally, I love how Shape Writing works in it's current form. I'll have to try and test a Android phone to see if I like continous sentences at once, but for now Shape Writing is the best thing since sliced bread for me. :)

Think it's clear, you don't need to use the space bar as queried. You "shape" one word, lift your finger slightly off the screen, then start the next word.

That's not what I asked. Lifting your finger, even a little, it's not keeping it touching the screen the whole time. In android you can accomplish what I asked by just swiping a word, keep your finger touching the screen and then move it down to the space bar, then continue with the next word. And you don't separate or lift your finger any time. Maybe it's just that I'm not so good writing in English, that's why you can't understand me.

No, you cannot type a sentence without lifting your finger. I understood you. The space bar isn't registered and the software counts your sentence as one big word just as you described.

The only things that I don't like from the new keyboard is the text selection tool, which is usually appear when we long tap in the text field is now hide behind our finger. Therefore it's now harder than ever to point out to certain location. I used this feature a lot. Other than that, I perfectly happy.

No man its not that a task....first touch highlights the word...2nd touch brings the cursor to end of word...hold the circle move it any where

Thanks for the tip...

Once you know how to do it , after a few practices, IMHO editing in WP 8.1 is faster than 8.0

Just do a quick double tap on the word you want to edit and then slide your finger.

how to giv space without lifting finger? I swpye but to giv space I have to press the space bar then Swype again can't I Swype two diff words with space withoutloftin

Also, you can just tap the "shift" key (double tap or hold for caps lock) before you start swiping each word.

It feels a lot faster for me to do it this way rather than going back and having to tap on each word, especially when small words tend to want to place a cursor instead of highling the word.

I will say that I don't know why they didn't make it so you can start off a captalized letter by just starting your swipe on the shift key, seems pretty obvious to me that would be the fastest and most fluid way to do it. My only guess is a worry of false positives for capatlizing the first letter when the users meant to hit A, S, or Z.

At Swype app at all my old symbian nokias, to capitalize any letter just needed to swype up and proceed with the typing, but maybe it's a patent from the developers, developers, developers...

OMG Thanks for the tip Dan! I'm still getting back to 8 though, until bugs are fixed...

They are almost silent after the update. I mean yes, they are updating the apps more often and listening to the feedbacks but won't bother to instruct these to its users. Not even in WP blog. And I won't blame them either, considering its only a developer PREVIEW.

Maybe I'm evolving. I had Swipe on my old Android phone and never liked it. I dont know if its my memory, but I remember it being more finicky to get right. With the new WP keyboard, I can be really sloppy - even add extra letters and stuff and it still figures out what I meant 99.9% of the time.

Thanks for the tip. Is there any on phone or online help / user guides for the 8.1 update? Just a note; the lack of a swipe alternative was stopping me from moving to WP. I bought a lumia as soon as the rumours of its inclusion in 8.1 update were confirmed. Hope many others make the move.

I thought that just i'm crazy :) Reading post, trying in OneNote and... it's not working :)  Tried in sms - working :)

Word Flow works, just not the capitalisation trick that the article and likewise the comments are talking about.

The best part is that it doesn't make you feel obligated to use either word flow OR normal typing. I switch between the two sometimes a few times within a sentence, just whenever I feel like. Very well done.

A pity, because I almost never do a  post note editing. I want it done while texting. Still hope there will be an option to capitalize while "wordflowing".

It's not often that one of WPC's tips teach me something that I didn't know..... But this time I actually learned something. Thanks!

It's a nice feature, but sadly I'm more interested in getting the word flow keybord to support Swedish. Started to write in english when texting due to the keyboard. IT'S ABSOLUTELY LOVELY !

This is great. Have been wanting for an easy way to go between lowercase and uppercase first letters without retyping the word. Glad this website is around to point out the little things.

Something i don't like in the keyboard of the W8.1, it's the coma "," previously it was on the right side of the space bar, but now it's only the dot symbol, if you want to use the coma "," you need to move to the "number" section and then select then appears as previous version.

There is a way to have it as standard view, jointly with the dot symbol?

Check the selections in the settings, keyboard.

I have a comma on the left of the space bar and a dot/full stop on the right. Or press and hold the dot and the comma appears.

I noticed that the coma is not present when I am in the email view, and in the address bar. Probably because it has the ".com" button. Holding the period down does give you a choice of punctuation marks. Once you click into the text field, the coma is visable to the right of the space bar.

Title of the article reminds me of the ads I see on porn sites:

Get a huge cock/ripped abs/muscle mass with this one weird trick

I noticed something cool with the WP8.1 keyboard which is clever. If you type a certain word like for example love a heart symbol appears,or pin & the pin symbols appears and so on. The other day I typed drops and an umbrella symbol appeared like rain drops.  

I have two more keyboard tips.
1. If you type an emoticon word (like love) and then tap space, then delete key and then select the emoticon, then word love automatically changes to emoticon.
2. If you type a emoticon word (say smile) then select the emoticon and then tap backspace it shows all the related emoticons.

Thanks for the article; between the capitalisation tips and the swearing I've got all my messaging needs covered lol

Now if I can get the hang of the blinking cursor...

It's even easier than that. If you want to capitalize a word as you type, instead of going back over the sentence to check capitalization later, simply tap the shift key before starting to swipe a word, even if the cursor is still sitting at the end of the last word you swiped. I love the new keyboard!

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My word flow stops working after typing a few words. The whole keyboard is useless after that. Can't even type normally. I have to highlight a word then tap back into a free space to type one word again then afterwards it freezes again. Idk what to do about it. Hope there's a fix. I'd love some help from somebody regarding this pls

Is there a way to temporary disable the automatic space between words so I'd write wordstogether on purpose? In our language that's used a lot. In good old Symbian Swipe the shortcut to that was swiping from the space button to the backspace button. Not working here. :(

I love you so much for sharing this... It'll make correcting capitalization errors so much easier.

I previously was just highlighting then completely retyping words. Love you WPC!!!

I quickly found out about this and it made me smile. So many little things that make such a great difference. Kudos to Microsoft, sincerely.

Quick question? I used to use swipe keyboard on the Nokia n9, we could swipe from the comma to the spacebar to leave a space behind the comma. Is there a way to do this with the wordflow keyboard? Reason is when I need to use single letter word after a comma, the wordflow keyboard doesn’t automatically leave a space. I was hoping for a smooth experience but that tapping comma and spacebar is almost annoying me

Accidentally found this out the other day by highlighting a word and meant to hit "a" and hit the arrow and saw word change. Didn't know it was new. Thought I just never noticed LOL. Cool feature to capitalize or BOLD! Except disappears if you hit space bar.

Someone should publish a video that comprises of full tricks of Windows phones flow keyboard ( swipe keyboard) !!

I didn't think I could ❤ Windows Phone more but it looks like Microsoft did it. This new swipe keyboard is so amazing it is now sheer pleasure to "type" using the phone. I can't stop posting just for the fun of it.

Question about words added to the dictionnary: if I add a word to the dictionnary, where can I manage that list? Today, if I add a word by mistake, I'm stuck with this word showing up all the time in suggestions and sometimes correcting other words to it.   Anyone knows anything about this?

I don't know if anyone has discovered this yet but, another great thing is date contextual awareness in text messaging (Not nessesarily keyboard related). If there is anything in the text message that says "At 6:00pm" or "On Friday" etc, a dotted line will appear under the text. If you tap on it, it will prompt you to make a calendar event related to it.

Lol How Great Is This And So Easy. Now I Can Write As A Typical American And Capitalize Everything.