You should only capitalize directions, such as west, when you are referring to it as the proper noun, such as “in the West.” If you are merely referring to a direction, such as “go west on I-90,” then you should keep west lowercase.
Some common examples of when you should capitalize west include:
- down West
- the Deep West
and when you should lowercase it:
- in the west of France
- go west on I-90 and then south
What about capitalizing western or Westerner?
The same rules apply to capitalizing western as capitalizing west. If you are referring to a group of proper nouns such as “the Western States.” However, if you’re referring to a general location, such as “the western winds” then western should be lowercase.
You should always capitalize Westerner since it refers to a group of people who are proper nouns.
To know what other words you should capitalize, try our free title capitalization tool.