LEFT Function in Excel – Extract first n characters

LEFT Function in Excel extracts the first n characters. Left Function returns the specified number of characters from the start of a string i.e. from left of a string.

Syntax of LEFT Function in Excel:

LEFT( text, [num_chars] )

Where,

  • text –Text String
  • [num_chars] – An optional argument that specifies the number of characters to be returned from the start of the text string.

If nothing is given then default value 1 is taken.

 

Example of LEFT Function in Excel:

Formula

LEFT Function in Excel 1

  • In row number 2, LEFT function only takes up text argument and [num_chars] is omitted so only one value from the start of the string is returned (first value is returned).
  • In row number 3 to 6, LEFT function takes up text argument and [num_chars] argument so the specified set of values from the start of the string is returned.

So the result will be

Result

LEFT Function in Excel 2

Note: #VALUE! Error occurs if the supplied [num_chars] argument is < 0.

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