You can use the following formula to add a specific character before each word in a cell in Excel:

="_"&SUBSTITUTE(A2," "," _")

This particular formula adds an underscore **_** before each word in cell **A2**.

For example, if cell **A2** contained **Andy Miller** then this formula would return **_Andy _Miller**.

The following example shows how to use this formula in practice.

**Example: Add a Character Before Each Word in Excel**

Suppose we have the following column of names in Excel:

Suppose we would like to add an underscore** _** before each word in each cell.

We can type the following formula into cell **B2** to do so:

="_"&SUBSTITUTE(A2," "," _")

We can then click and drag this formula down to each remaining cell in column B:

Column B now contains the text in column A with an underscore added before each word.

Note that you could also add several characters before each word if you’d like.

For example, we could type the following formula into cell **B2** to add “text” before each word in cell **A2**:

="text"&SUBSTITUTE(A2," "," text")

We can then click and drag this formula down to each remaining cell in column B:

Column B now contains the text in column A with “text” added before each word.

**How This Formula Works**

Recall the formula that we used to add an underscore before each word in cell **A2**:

="_"&SUBSTITUTE(A2," "," _")

Here is how this formula works:

First, we type **“_”** to add an underscore before the first word in the cell.

Then we use the **SUBSTITUTE** function to substitute each occurrence of a space in cell **A2** with a space and an underscore.

The end result is that we’re able to add an underscore before each word in cell **A2**.

**Additional Resources**

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common operations in Excel:

Excel: How to Remove Specific Text from Cells

Excel: How to Remove Special Characters

Excel: How to Insert a Character into a String