From data to report in one minute or less. Ajelix BI is launched! 🚀 Get started for free.

# How To Use LEFT function in Excel Explained

### What is LEFT function in Excel?

LEFT function in Excel extracts a certain number of characters from the beginning of a text string. The syntax for the LEFT function is: =LEFT(text, [num_chars]) where text is the text string from which you want to extract characters, and [num_chars] is the number of characters you want to extract.

### Description

The LEFT function in Microsoft Excel allows users to extract a substring (or a specific number of characters) from the beginning of a string of text. This is useful for situations where you need to extract certain information from a longer string of text.

For example, you can use the LEFT formula to extract the first name from a full name, or the first 3 characters from an SKU. This function is also useful for cleaning up data by removing unwanted characters from the beginning of a string. It requires two arguments, the string of text and the number of characters you want to extract. It returns the extracted characters as a string.

Struggling with your Excel formulas?
Looking for a faster and easier way to write Excel formulas? Try AI Excel Formula Generator and turn your text into formulas with just a few clicks.

### LEFT Function Syntax

=LEFT(text, [num_chars])

text is the text string from which you want to extract characters,

[num_chars] is the number of characters you want to extract.

#### LEFT Function Example in Excel

In the picture above we can see that the function is used to retrieve the country codes from the phone number. Number 5 identifies how many characters we want to extract.

#### Function Example Result in Excel

Here you can see that the function returned 5 characters from the left side of the cell. In our example, we can see that function returned the country code from all phone numbers. You can use this function to extract different characters.

### How to use LEFT function MS Excel in your workbook:

1. Open your Excel spreadsheet and select the cell or cells you would like to use the function in.
2. Type “=LEFT(” into the formula bar at the top of the spreadsheet.
3. Select the cell containing the text you want to extract from.
4. Type a comma into the formula bar after the cell reference.
5. Input the number of characters you want to extract from the text in the cell.
6. Type a closing parenthesis “)” into the formula bar to complete the formula and press enter.
7. The cell should now contain the text extracted from the original cell.

### Frequently Asked Questions

How to extract characters from a string in Excel?

To extract characters from a string in Excel, you can use the LEFT, RIGHT, MID, SEARCH, and FIND functions. These functions allow you to extract a specific number of characters from the left, right, or middle of the string.

What the LEFT function in Excel do?

The left function is used to extract a specified number of characters from the left side of a string. For example, if the string is “Hello World”, the left function can be used to extract the first 5 characters of the string, which would return the string “Hello”.

### Read latest blog articles about Excel

WEEKLY BLOG ARTICLES WITH INDUSTRY NEWS AND HELPFUL GUIDES

### Our Brands

#### Business Intelligence platform meets AI

Trusted by 150'000 customers around the globe since 2018.

© 2018 - 2024 AJELIX, SIA