## How to use the LEFT function

*Article updated on April 18, 2018*

The LEFT function extracts a specific number of characters always starting from the left.

### Excel Function Syntax

LEFT(text, [num_chars])

### Arguments

text |
Text string or a cell reference to a text string. |

[num_chars] |
The number of characters to extract. Optional. If this argument is not entered only the first character is extracted. |

### Example

### Articles with the 'LEFT' Function

The following 6 articles have formulas that contain the LEFT function.

Table of contents Match a date when a date range is entered in a single cell Match a date when […]

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Question: I want to sum cells that have a "C" and a decimal number. The cells have other numbers and […]

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The formula in cell C3 grabs the first word in B3 using a blank as the delimiting character. =LEFT(B3,SEARCH(" ",B3)-1) […]

### Functions in 'Text'

The LEFT function function is one of many functions in the 'Text' category.

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Use CHAR function to convert a number to the corresponding character. This is determined by your computers character set. Windows ANSI […]

The CLEAN function deletes nonprintable characters in a value, more specifically, it is designed to delete the first 32 nonprinting […]

The CODE function returns a specific number for the first character of the text argument, determined by your computers character set. […]

The CONCAT function concatenates values from multiple cells. There is, however, no delimiting character or a way to ignore empty […]

The EXACT function allows you to check if two values are precisely the same, it returns TRUE or FALSE. The […]

The FIND function returns the position of a specific string in another string, reading left to right. Note, the FIND function […]

The FIXED function rounds a number to the specified number of decimals, formats the number in decimal format using a […]

The LEFT function extracts a specific number of characters always starting from the left. Excel Function Syntax LEFT(text, [num_chars]) Arguments […]

The LEN function returns the number of characters in a cell value. Formula in cell D3: =LEN(B3) Cell B7 contains […]

The LOWER function converts a value to lower case letters. Formula in cell C3: =LOWER(B3) Excel Function Syntax LOWER(text) Arguments […]

The MID function returns a substring from a string based on the starting position and the number of characters you want […]

The RAND function calculates a random real number greater than or equal to 0 and less than 1. The function […]

The REPT function repeats a specific text a chosen number of times. Formula in cell D3: =REPT(B3,C3) Excel Function Syntax […]

The RIGHT function extracts a specific number of characters always starting from the right. Excel Function Syntax RIGHT(text,[num_chars]) Arguments text […]

Returns a number representing the position a substring is, if found in a textstring. FIND is case sensitive and SEARCH is not.

The SUBSTITUTE function replaces a specific text string in a value. Case sensitive. Formula in cell E3: =SUBSTITUTE(B3,C3,D3) Excel Function […]

The T function returns a text value if the argument is a text value. Formula in cell C3: =T(B3) The […]

Excel function syntax TEXT(value, format_text) Converts a value to text in a specific number format. Arguments value - The string […]

The TEXTJOIN function is a new function for office 365 subscribers, it is like the CONCATENATE function on steroids or what the CONCATENATE function […]

The picture above shows you values that have multiple leading and trailing blanks, sometimes also between words. The TRIM function […]

Converts a value to upper case letters. Formula in cell C3: =UPPER(B3) Excel Function Syntax UPPER(text) Arguments text Value to convert. Required. Share […]

Converts a text string that represents a number to a number. This function is included for compatibility with other software. […]