LEFT

The LEFT function is used to extract a specified number of characters from the left side of a text string. This function is commonly used when you want to retrieve a portion of text from a larger string.

Syntax

=LEFT(text, num_chars)

text The text string from which you want to extract characters.
num_chars The number of characters you want to extract from the left side of the text string.

About LEFT

When you find yourself in need of a tool to pluck out a snippet of text from a longer sequence, look no further than the LEFT function in Excel. Handy for instances where you seek to isolate a specific segment of textual data, this function offers simplicity and efficiency in text manipulation tasks. Whether it's extracting a name, a code, or any portion of text up to a designated length, LEFT has got you covered with its intuitive operation.

Examples

Suppose you have the text string 'ExcelRocks2022' and you want to extract the first 5 characters. The LEFT formula would be: =LEFT('ExcelRocks2022', 5) This will return 'Excel'.

Imagine you have the text string 'HelloWorld' and you wish to retrieve the first 3 characters. The LEFT formula would be: =LEFT('HelloWorld', 3) This will output 'Hel'.

Questions

What happens if the specified num_chars in the LEFT function is greater than the length of the text string?

If the specified num_chars is greater than the length of the text string, the LEFT function will return the entire original text string without any truncation.

Can the LEFT function be used with numeric values?

No, the LEFT function is specifically designed to work with text strings. If you attempt to use it with numeric values, it will result in an error.

Is the LEFT function case-sensitive?

No, the LEFT function is not case-sensitive. It will extract characters from the specified position regardless of whether they are uppercase or lowercase.

Related functions

RIGHT
MID
LEN
FIND
SEARCH