Returns a specified number of bytes from the start of a text string in Excel. This function is useful when working with multibyte character sets or languages that may have characters represented by multiple bytes.


=LEFTB(text, num_bytes)

text The text string from which you want to extract the bytes.
num_bytes The number of bytes you want to extract from the start of the text string.


When dealing with text data that contains multibyte characters or languages where characters are represented by multiple bytes, the LEFTB function shines in Excel. This function allows you to retrieve a specific number of bytes from the beginning of a text string, facilitating operations in languages with complex character encoding systems or multibyte character sets like Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. LEFTB is particularly essential for accurately handling and manipulating text in these scenarios, ensuring precise data extraction and analysis in such text-heavy contexts.


If you have a cell A1 containing the text 'こんにちは' (which means 'hello' in Japanese), and you want to extract the first 4 bytes from this text, you would use the formula: =LEFTB(A1, 4) This formula will return 'こ'.

Suppose cell B1 contains the text '안녕하세요' (which means 'hello' in Korean), and you wish to retrieve the first 6 bytes. You can use the formula: =LEFTB(B1, 6) to obtain '안녕'.


In what scenarios is the LEFTB function most beneficial?

The LEFTB function is highly beneficial when working with text data that features multibyte characters, such as in languages like Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, where each character can be represented by multiple bytes. It ensures accurate byte extraction for precise text manipulation.

How does the LEFTB function differ from the LEFT function in Excel?

The LEFT function in Excel extracts a specified number of characters from the beginning of a text string, while the LEFTB function is specifically designed for extracting a certain number of bytes from the start of a text string, which is crucial when dealing with multibyte characters or complex character encoding.

What should be considered when using the LEFTB function with multibyte characters?

When working with multibyte characters, it's important to be aware of the byte representation of each character and ensure that the number of bytes specified in the LEFTB function aligns with the intended character extraction. Incorrect byte count may result in truncated or incorrect text extraction.

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