Excel Guides

Returning the Left-most Characters in Excel

There are a few different ways that you can return the left-most characters in Excel. One way is to use the LEFT function. The LEFT function takes two arguments: the text string that you want to extract from and the number of characters that you want to extract. For example, if you have a cell with the text "Hello, world!" and you want to extract the first five characters, you would use the following formula:

=LEFT("Hello, world!", 5)

This would return "Hello".

Another way to return the left-most characters is to use the LEFTB function. The LEFTB function is similar to the LEFT function, but it counts bytes instead of characters. This can be useful if you're working with languages that use double-byte character sets (DBCS), such as Chinese or Japanese. For example, if you have a cell with the text "" and you want to extract the first three characters, you would use the following formula:

=LEFTB("", 3)

This would return "".

If you want to extract a specific number of characters from the left side of a string, but you don't know how many characters are in the string, you can use the LEN function in conjunction with the LEFT or LEFTB function. The LEN function returns the length of a string (in characters or bytes). For example, if you have a cell with the text "Hello, world!" and you want to extract the first five characters, but you don't know how many characters are in the string, you could use the following formula:

=LEFT("Hello, world!", LEN("Hello, world!")-5)

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