How do I make the first letter of a string uppercase in JavaScript?

How do I make the first letter of a string uppercase, but not change the case of any of the other letters?

For example:

  • "this is a test" -> "This is a test"
  • "the Eiffel Tower" -> "The Eiffel Tower"
  • "/index.html" -> "/index.html"

Answers:

Answer
function capitalizeFirstLetter(string) {
    return string.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + string.slice(1);
}

Some other answers modify String.prototype (this answer used to as well), but I would advise against this now due to maintainability (hard to find out where the function is being added to the prototype and could cause conflicts if other code uses the same name / a browser adds a native function with that same name in future).

Answer

Here's a more object-oriented approach:

String.prototype.capitalize = function() {
    return this.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + this.slice(1);
}

You'd call the function, like this:

"hello world".capitalize();

With the expected output being:

"Hello world" 
Answer

In CSS:

p:first-letter {
    text-transform:capitalize;
}
Answer

Here is a shortened version of the popular answer that gets the first letter by treating the string as an array:

function capitalize(s)
{
    return s[0].toUpperCase() + s.slice(1);
}

Update:

According to the comments below this doesn't work in IE 7 or below.

Update 2:

To avoid undefined for empty strings (see @njzk2's comment below), you can check for an empty string:

function capitalize(s)
{
    return s && s[0].toUpperCase() + s.slice(1);
}
Answer

If you're interested in the performance of a few different methods posted:

Here are the fastest methods based on this jsperf test (ordered from fastest to slowest).

As you can see, the first two methods are essentially comparable in terms of performance, whereas altering the String.prototype is by far the slowest in terms of performance.

// 10,889,187 operations/sec
function capitalizeFirstLetter(string) {
    return string[0].toUpperCase() + string.slice(1);
}

// 10,875,535 operations/sec
function capitalizeFirstLetter(string) {
    return string.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + string.slice(1);
}

// 4,632,536 operations/sec
function capitalizeFirstLetter(string) {
    return string.replace(/^./, string[0].toUpperCase());
}

// 1,977,828 operations/sec
String.prototype.capitalizeFirstLetter = function() {
    return this.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + this.slice(1);
}

enter image description here

Answer

For another case I need it to capitalize the first letter and lowercase the rest. The following cases made me change this function:

//es5
function capitalize(string) {
    return string.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + string.slice(1).toLowerCase();
}
capitalize("alfredo")  // => "Alfredo"
capitalize("Alejandro")// => "Alejandro
capitalize("ALBERTO")  // => "Alberto"
capitalize("ArMaNdO")  // => "Armando"

// es6 using destructuring 
const capitalize = ([first,...rest]) => first.toUpperCase() + rest.join('').toLowerCase();
Answer

This is the 2018 ECMAScript 6+ Solution:

const str = 'the Eiffel Tower';
const newStr = `${str[0].toUpperCase()}${str.slice(1)}`;
console.log('Original String:', str); // the Eiffel Tower
console.log('New String:', newStr); // The Eiffel Tower

Answer

If you're already (or considering) using lodash, the solution is easy:

_.upperFirst('fred');
// => 'Fred'

_.upperFirst('FRED');
// => 'FRED'

_.capitalize('fred') //=> 'Fred'

See their docs: https://lodash.com/docs#capitalize

_.camelCase('Foo Bar'); //=> 'fooBar'

https://lodash.com/docs/4.15.0#camelCase

_.lowerFirst('Fred');
// => 'fred'

_.lowerFirst('FRED');
// => 'fRED'

_.snakeCase('Foo Bar');
// => 'foo_bar'

Vanilla js for first upper case:

function upperCaseFirst(str){
    return str.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + str.substring(1);
}
Answer

Capitalize the first letter of all words in a string:

function ucFirstAllWords( str )
{
    var pieces = str.split(" ");
    for ( var i = 0; i < pieces.length; i++ )
    {
        var j = pieces[i].charAt(0).toUpperCase();
        pieces[i] = j + pieces[i].substr(1);
    }
    return pieces.join(" ");
}
Answer

We could get the first character with one of my favorite RegExp, looks like a cute smiley: /^./

String.prototype.capitalize = function () {
  return this.replace(/^./, function (match) {
    return match.toUpperCase();
  });
};

And for all coffee-junkies:

String::capitalize = ->
  @replace /^./, (match) ->
    match.toUpperCase()

...and for all guys who think that there's a better way of doing this, without extending native prototypes:

var capitalize = function (input) {
  return input.replace(/^./, function (match) {
    return match.toUpperCase();
  });
};
Answer
String.prototype.capitalize = function(allWords) {
   return (allWords) ? // if all words
      this.split(' ').map(word => word.capitalize()).join(' ') : //break down phrase to words then  recursive calls until capitalizing all words
      this.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + this.slice(1); // if allWords is undefined , capitalize only the first word , mean the first char of the whole string
}

And then:

 "capitalize just the first word".capitalize(); ==> "Capitalize just the first word"
 "capitalize all words".capitalize(true); ==> "Capitalize All Words"

Update Nov.2016 (ES6), just for FUN :

const capitalize = (string = '') => [...string].map(    //convert to array with each item is a char of string by using spread operator (...)
    (char, index) => index ? char : char.toUpperCase()  // index true means not equal 0 , so (!index) is the first char which is capitalized by `toUpperCase()` method
 ).join('')                                             //return back to string

then capitalize("hello") // Hello

Answer

If you use underscore.js or Lo-Dash, the underscore.string library provides string extensions, including capitalize:

_.capitalize(string) Converts first letter of the string to uppercase.

Example:

_.capitalize("foo bar") == "Foo bar"
Answer

Use:

var str = "ruby java";

console.log(str.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + str.substring(1));

It will output "Ruby java" to the console.

Answer

SHORTEST 3 solutions, 1 and 2 handle cases when s string is "", null and undefined:

 s&&s[0].toUpperCase()+s.slice(1)        // 32 char

 s&&s.replace(/./,s[0].toUpperCase())    // 36 char - using regexp

'foo'.replace(/./,x=>x.toUpperCase())    // 31 char - direct on string, ES6

let s='foo bar';

console.log( s&&s[0].toUpperCase()+s.slice(1) );

console.log( s&&s.replace(/./,s[0].toUpperCase()) );

console.log( 'foo bar'.replace(/./,x=>x.toUpperCase()) );

Answer

CSS only

p::first-letter {
  text-transform: uppercase;
}
  • Despite being called ::first-letter, it applies to the first character, i.e. in case of string %a, this selector would apply to % and as such a would not be capitalized.
  • In IE9+ or IE5.5+ it's supported in legacy notation with only one colon (:first-letter).

ES2015 one-liner

Since there are numerous answers, but none in ES2015 that would solve original problem efficiently, I came up with the following:

const capitalizeFirstChar = str => str.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + str.substring(1);

Remarks

  • parameters => function is so called arrow function.
  • I went with name capitalizeFirstChar instead of capitalizeFirstLetter, because OP didn't asked for code that capitalizes the first letter in the entire string, but the very first char (if it's letter, of course).
  • const gives us the ability to declare capitalizeFirstChar as constant, which is desired since as a programmer you should always explicitly state your intentions.
  • In the benchmark I performed there was no significant difference between string.charAt(0) and string[0]. Note however, that string[0] would be undefined for empty string, so it should be rewritten to string && string[0], which is way too verbose, compared to the alternative.
  • string.substring(1) is faster than string.slice(1).

Benchmark

  • 4,956,962 ops/s ±3.03% for this solution,
  • 4,577,946 ops/s ±1.2% for the most voted answer.
  • Created with JSBench.me on Google Chrome 57.

Solutions' comparison

Answer

There is a very simple way to implement it by replace. For ECMAScript 6:

'foo'.replace(/^./, str => str.toUpperCase())

Result:

'Foo'
Answer
var capitalized = yourstring[0].toUpperCase() + yourstring.substr(1);
Answer

It seems to be easier in CSS:

<style type="text/css">
    p.capitalize {text-transform:capitalize;}
</style>
<p class="capitalize">This is some text.</p>

This is from CSS text-transform Property (at W3Schools).

Answer

It's always better to handle these kinds of stuff using CSS first, in general, if you can solve something using CSS, go for that first, then try JavaScript to solve your problems, so in this case try using :first-letter in CSS and apply text-transform:capitalize;

So try creating a class for that, so you can use it globally, for example: .first-letter-uppercase and add something like below in your CSS:

.first-letter-uppercase:first-letter {
    text-transform:capitalize;
}

Also the alternative option is JavaScript, so the best gonna be something like this:

function capitalizeTxt(txt) {
  return txt.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + txt.slice(1); //or if you want lowercase the rest txt.slice(1).toLowerCase();
}

and call it like:

capitalizeTxt('this is a test'); // return 'This is a test'
capitalizeTxt('the Eiffel Tower'); // return 'The Eiffel Tower'
capitalizeTxt('/index.html');  // return '/index.html'
capitalizeTxt('alireza');  // return 'Alireza'

If you want to reuse it over and over, it's better attach it to javascript native String, so something like below:

String.prototype.capitalizeTxt = String.prototype.capitalizeTxt || function() {
    return this.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + this.slice(1);
}

and call it as below:

'this is a test'.capitalizeTxt(); // return 'This is a test'
'the Eiffel Tower'.capitalizeTxt(); // return 'The Eiffel Tower'
'/index.html'.capitalizeTxt();  // return '/index.html'
'alireza'.capitalizeTxt();  // return 'Alireza'
Answer

If you are wanting to reformat all-caps text, you might want to modify the other examples as such:

function capitalize (text) {
    return text.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + text.slice(1).toLowerCase();
}

This will ensure that the following text is changed:

TEST => Test
This Is A TeST => This is a test
Answer
function capitalize(s) {
    // returns the first letter capitalized + the string from index 1 and out aka. the rest of the string
    return s[0].toUpperCase() + s.substr(1);
}


// examples
capitalize('this is a test');
=> 'This is a test'

capitalize('the Eiffel Tower');
=> 'The Eiffel Tower'

capitalize('/index.html');
=> '/index.html'
Answer

Here is a function called ucfirst() (short for "upper case first letter"):

function ucfirst(str) {
    var firstLetter = str.substr(0, 1);
    return firstLetter.toUpperCase() + str.substr(1);
}

You can capitalise a string by calling ucfirst("some string") -- for example,

ucfirst("this is a test") --> "This is a test"

It works by splitting the string into two pieces. On the first line it pulls out firstLetter and then on the second line it capitalises firstLetter by calling firstLetter.toUpperCase() and joins it with the rest of the string, which is found by calling str.substr(1).

You might think this would fail for an empty string, and indeed in a language like C you would have to cater for this. However in JavaScript, when you take a substring of an empty string, you just get an empty string back.

Answer
String.prototype.capitalize = function(){
    return this.replace( /(^|\s)([a-z])/g , function(m,p1,p2){ return p1+p2.toUpperCase();
    } );
};

Usage:

capitalizedString = someString.capitalize();

This is a text string => This Is A Text String

Answer
var str = "test string";
str = str.substring(0,1).toUpperCase() + str.substring(1);
Answer

Checkout this solution:

var stringVal = 'master';
stringVal.replace(/^./, stringVal[0].toUpperCase()); // returns Master 
Answer
yourString.replace(/^[a-z]/, function(m){ return m.toUpperCase() });

(You may encapsulate it in a function or even add it to the String prototype if you use it frequently.)

Answer

The ucfirst function works if you do it like this.

function ucfirst(str) {
    var firstLetter = str.slice(0,1);
    return firstLetter.toUpperCase() + str.substring(1);
}

Thanks J-P for the aclaration.

Answer

You can do it in one line like this

string[0].toUpperCase() + string.substring(1)
Answer
yourString.replace(/\w/, c => c.toUpperCase())

I found this arrow function easiest. Replace matches the first letter character (\w) of your string and converts it to uppercase. Nothing fancier necessary.

Answer

I didn’t see any mention in the existing answers of issues related to astral plane code points or internationalization. “Uppercase” doesn’t mean the same thing in every language using a given script.

Initially I didn’t see any answers addressing issues related to astral plane code points. There is one, but it’s a bit buried (like this one will be, I guess!)


Most of the proposed functions look like this:

function capitalizeFirstLetter(str) {
  return str[0].toUpperCase() + str.slice(1);
}

However, some cased characters fall outside the BMP (basic multilingual plane, code points U+0 to U+FFFF). For example take this Deseret text:

capitalizeFirstLetter("????????????????????????"); // "????????????????????????"

The first character here fails to capitalize because the array-indexed properties of strings don’t access “characters” or code points*. They access UTF-16 code units. This is true also when slicing — the index values point at code units.

It happens to be that UTF-16 code units are 1:1 with USV code points within two ranges, U+0 to U+D7FF and U+E000 to U+FFFF inclusive. Most cased characters fall into those two ranges, but not all of them.

From ES2015 on, dealing with this became a bit easier. String.prototype[@@iterator] yields strings corresponding to code points**. So for example, we can do this:

function capitalizeFirstLetter([ first, ...rest ]) {
  return [ first.toUpperCase(), ...rest ].join('');
}

capitalizeFirstLetter("????????????????????????") // "????????????????????????"

For longer strings, this is probably not terribly efficient*** — we don’t really need to iterate the remainder. We could use String.prototype.codePointAt to get at that first (possible) letter, but we’d still need to determine where the slice should begin. One way to avoid iterating the remainder would be to test whether the first codepoint is outside the BMP; if it isn’t, the slice begins at 1, and if it is, the slice begins at 2.

function capitalizeFirstLetter(str) {
  const firstCP = str.codePointAt(0);
  const index = firstCP > 0xFFFF ? 2 : 1;

  return String.fromCodePoint(firstCP).toUpperCase() + str.slice(index);
}

capitalizeFirstLetter("????????????????????????") // "????????????????????????"

You could use bitwise math instead of > 0xFFFF there, but it’s probably easier to understand this way and either would achieve the same thing.

We can also make this work in ES5 and below by taking that logic a bit further if necessary. There are no intrinsic methods in ES5 for working with codepoints, so we have to manually test whether the first code unit is a surrogate****:

function capitalizeFirstLetter(str) {
  var firstCodeUnit = str[0];

  if (firstCodeUnit < '\uD800' || firstCodeUnit > '\uDFFF') {
    return str[0].toUpperCase() + str.slice(1);
  }

  return str.slice(0, 2).toUpperCase() + str.slice(2);
}

capitalizeFirstLetter("????????????????????????") // "????????????????????????"

At the start I also mentioned internationalization considerations. Some of these are very difficult to account for because they require knowledge not only of what language is being used, but also may require specific knowledge of the words in the language. For example, the Irish digraph "mb" capitalizes as "mB" at the start of a word. Another example, the German eszett, never begins a word (afaik), but still helps illustrate the problem. The lowercase eszett (“ß”) capitalizes to “SS,” but “SS” could lowercase to either “ß” or “ss” — you require out-of-band knowledge of the German language to know which is correct!

The most famous example of these kinds of issues, probably, is Turkish. In Turkish Latin, the capital form of i is ?, while the lowercase form of I is ? — they’re two different letters. Fortunately we do have a way to account for this:

function capitalizeFirstLetter([ first, ...rest ], locale) {
  return [ first.toLocaleUpperCase(locale), ...rest ].join('');
}

capitalizeFirstLetter("italy", "en") // "Italy"
capitalizeFirstLetter("italya", "tr") // "?talya"

In a browser, the user’s most-preferred language tag is indicated by navigator.language, a list in order of preference is found at navigator.languages, and a given DOM element’s language can be obtained (usually) with Object(element.closest('[lang]')).lang || YOUR_DEFAULT_HERE in multilanguage documents.

In agents which support Unicode property character classes in RegExp, which were introduced in ES2018, we can clean stuff up further by directly expressing what characters we’re interested in:

function capitalizeFirstLetter(str, locale=navigator.language) {
  return str.replace(/^\p{CWU}/u, char => char.toLocaleUpperCase(locale));
}

This could be tweaked a bit to also handle capitalizing multiple words in a string with fairly good accuracy. The CWU or Changes_When_Uppercased character property matches all code points which, well, change when uppercased. We can try this out with a titlecased digraph characters like the Dutch ? for example:

capitalizeFirstLetter('?sselmeer'); // "?sselmeer"

At the time of writing (Feb 2020), Firefox/Spidermonkey has not yet implemented any of the RegExp features introduced in the last two years*****. You can check the current status of this feature at the Kangax compat table. Babel is able to compile RegExp literals with property references to equivalent patterns without them, but be aware that the resulting code may be enormous.


In all likelihood, people asking this question will not be concerned with Deseret capitalization or internationalization. But it’s good to be aware of these issues because there’s a good chance you’ll encounter them eventually even if they aren’t concerns presently. They’re not “edge” cases, or rather, they’re not by-definition edge cases — there’s a whole country where most people speak Turkish, anyway, and conflating code units with codepoints is a fairly common source of bugs (especially with regard to emoji). Both strings and language are pretty complicated!


* The code units of UTF-16 / UCS2 are also Unicode code points in the sense that e.g. U+D800 is technically a code point, but that’s not what it “means” here ... sort of ... though it gets pretty fuzzy. What the surrogates definitely are not, though, is USVs (Unicode scalar values).

** Though if a surrogate code unit is “orphaned” — i.e., not part of a logical pair — you could still get surrogates here, too.

*** maybe. I haven’t tested it. Unless you have determined capitalization is a meaningful bottleneck, I probably wouldn’t sweat it — choose whatever you believe is most clear and readable.

**** such a function might wish to test both the first and second code units instead of just the first, since it’s possible that the first unit is an orphaned surrogate. For example the input "\uD800x" would capitalize the X as-is, which may or may not be expected.

***** Here’s the Bugzilla issue if you want to follow the progress more directly.

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