**Please Note: **
This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), *this tip may not work for you*. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Adding Dashes between Letters.

Scott wonders how he can make Excel automatically add a dash between every letter in a given cell. As an example, if cell A1 contains "house", Scott would like to convert it to "h-o-u-s-e".

This can be done with a formula, but it quickly becomes unwieldy. For instance, the following formula can be used to put dashes between the letters of whatever you type into cell A1:

=CHOOSE(LEN(A1),A1,LEFT(A1,1) & "-" & RIGHT(A1,1), LEFT(A1,1) & "-" & MID(A1,2,1) & "-" & RIGHT(A1,1), LEFT(A1,1) & "-" & MID(A1,2,1) & "-" & MID(A1,3,1) & "-" & RIGHT(A1,1),LEFT(A1,1) & "-" & MID(A1,2,1) & "-" & MID(A1,3,1) & "-" & MID(A1,4,1) & "-" & RIGHT(A1,1), LEFT(A1,1) & "-" & MID(A1,2,1) & "-" & MID(A1,3,1) & "-" & MID(A1,4,1) & "-" & MID(A1,5,1) & "-" & RIGHT(A1,1))

This particular example of a formula will only work on text up to six characters in length. Thus, it would work properly for "house", but not for "household". The formula could be lengthened but, again, it would quickly become very long.

A better approach is to use a macro to do the conversion. If you want to insert the dashes right into the cell, you could use a macro such as this:

Sub AddDashes1() Dim Cell As Range Dim sTemp As String Dim C As Integer For Each Cell In Selection sTemp = "" For C = 1 To Len(Cell) sTemp = sTemp + Mid(Cell, C, 1) + "-" Next Cell.Value = Left(sTemp, Len(sTemp) - 1) Next End Sub

This macro is designed to be used on a selected range of cells. Just select the cells you want to convert, and then run the macro. The dashes are added between each letter in the cells.

If you prefer to not modify the original cell values, you could create a user-defined function that would do the job:

Function AddDashes2(Src As String) As String Dim sTemp As String Dim C As Integer Application.Volatile sTemp = "" For C = 1 To Len(Src) sTemp = sTemp + Mid(Src, C, 1) + "-" Next AddDashes2 = Left(sTemp, Len(sTemp) - 1) End Function

To use this function, you would use the following in your worksheet:

=AddDashes2(A1)

If you want to make sure that the function is a bit more robust, you could modify it so that it handles multiple words. In such an instance you would not want it to treat a space as a "dashable letter." For example, you would want the routine to add dashes to "one two" so it came out as "o-n-e t-w-o" instead of "o-n-e- -t-w-o". The following variation on the function will do the trick:

Function AddDashes3(Src As String) As String Dim sTemp As String Dim C As Integer Application.Volatile sTemp = "" For C = 1 To Len(Src) sTemp = sTemp + Mid(Src, C, 1) If Mid(Src, C, 1) <> " " And Mid(Src, C + 1, 1) <> " " And C < Len(Src) Then sTemp = sTemp + "-" End If Next AddDashes3 = sTemp End Function

*Note:*

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This tip (9634) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: **Adding Dashes between Letters**.

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2019-01-29 12:22:59

Willy Vanhaelen

Although VBA allows to use the "+" sign to concatenate strings, it is strongly advised NOT to and use the ampersand "&" instead. In some circumstances the "+" can lead to erroneous results.

So instead of

sTemp = sTemp + "-"

better use

sTemp = sTemp & "-"

They should have done it in the first place in this tip.

2019-01-28 08:17:08

ryn

But...why?+

2015-09-21 16:15:59

Rick Rothstein

Function IBC(Strg As String, Spacer As String) As String

IBC = Replace(Join(Evaluate("TRANSPOSE(MID(""" & Strg & """,ROW(1:" & Len(Strg) & "),1))"), Spacer), Spacer & " " & Spacer, Space(1 + 2 * Len(Spacer)))

End Function

2015-09-21 15:59:54

Rick Rothstein

Function IBC(Strg As String, Spacer As String) As String

IBC = Join(Evaluate("TRANSPOSE(MID(""" & Strg & """,ROW(1:" & Len(Strg) & "),1))"), Spacer)

End Function

2014-12-23 06:57:11

Michael (Micky) Avidan

Good solution.

Michael (Micky) Avidan

“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator

“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2015)

ISRAEL

2014-12-22 17:26:09

Peter Atherton

I took the liberty of altering your code slightly to accommodate various spacers, including spacers before and after the spacer character e.g. " - ".

Function IBC(Str, Spacer As String)

Dim stemp As String

stemp = Replace(Replace(StrConv(Str, 64), ChrW(0), Spacer), Spacer & " " & Spacer, " ")

IBC = Left(stemp, Len(stemp) - Len(Spacer))

End Function

I've also used a period and CHAR(7) as spacer; someone might try to use sume such.

Regards

Peter

2014-12-21 07:37:12

Peter Atherton

Excellent, I knew you'd have a solution. I prefer the second replacement to have an extra space between words but that just me.

2014-12-07 08:28:49

Michael (Micky) Avidan

1) Just from looking at your revised code it seems as if you run your suggested UDF on: Micky Avidan

You'll get: M-i-c-k-y A-v-i-d-a-n

(Lot of spaces between the names).

2) If you'll alter my UDF into:

------------------------------------

Function IBC(Str, Spacer As String)

stemp = Replace(Replace(StrConv(Str, 64), ChrW(0), Spacer), "- -", " ")

IBC = Left(stemp, Len(stemp) - 1)

End Function

------------

You'll end up with a littler more appropriate result.

Michael (Micky) Avidan

“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator

“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2015)

ISRAEL

2014-12-06 16:04:36

Peter Atherton

Function AddDashes3(Src As String, Optional Spacer As String = " - ") As String

Dim stemp As String

Dim C As Integer, i As Integer

Dim Separator As String

Separator = chr(32) 'Space

For i = 1 To Len(Spacer)

Separator = Separator & chr(32)

Next

Application.Volatile

stemp = ""

For C = 1 To Len(Src)

stemp = stemp + Mid(Src, C, 1)

If Mid(Src, C, 1) <> " " And _

Mid(Src, C + 1, 1) <> " " And _

C < Len(Src) Then

stemp = stemp + Spacer

Else

stemp = stemp & Separator

End If

Next

AddDashes3 = stemp

End Function

2014-12-06 12:04:17

Peter Atherton

Formula:==AddDashes3(A11, "-") returns

B-r-e-a-m J-u-l-i-a-n

Formula:=ibc(A11,"-") returns

B-r-e-a-m- -J-u-l-i-a-n

2014-12-06 11:53:04

Peter Atherton

Micky

Yes, really good

2014-12-06 10:59:27

Willy Vanhaelen

@Mickey

That is a very clever solution.

2014-12-05 11:52:06

Michael (Micky) Avidan

-----------------------------

Function IBC(Str, Spacer As String) ' In-Between Character

sTemp = Replace(StrConv(Str, 64), ChrW(0), Spacer)

IBC = Left(sTemp, Len(sTemp) - 1)

End Function

--------------

Michael (Micky) Avidan

“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator

“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2015)

ISRAEL

2014-12-04 19:58:46

Peter Atherton

Function AddDashes3(Src As String, Optional Spacer As String = "-") As String

Dim sTemp As String

Dim C As Integer

Application.Volatile

sTemp = ""

For C = 1 To Len(Src)

sTemp = sTemp + Mid(Src, C, 1)

If Mid(Src, C, 1) <> " " And _

Mid(Src, C + 1, 1) <> " " And _

C < Len(Src) Then

sTemp = sTemp + Spacer

Else

sTemp = sTemp & " "

End If

Next

AddDashes3 = sTemp

End Function

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