**extracts a given number of characters from the left side of a supplied text string**. For example, LEFT(“apple”,3) returns “app”.

…

**Notes**

- num_chars is optional and defaults to 1.
- LEFT will extract digits from numbers as well as text.
- Number formatting is not counted or extracted.

## Using LEFT RIGHT & MID Functions in Excel

## Benefits of the LEFT function

The LEFT function has a variety of advantages, including the following:

## What is the Excel LEFT function?

With the Excel LEFT function, you can remove a predetermined number of characters from the inputted text string’s leftmost position. The return value can be one or more characters, depending on the number you enter into the function and how much text there is in the equation. The syntax or formula for this function is as follows:

LEFT (text, [num_chars])

The characters or text string that you want to extract from is represented by the “text” input in this formula. The number of characters to extract from the text string is indicated by the “num_chars” input, starting on the far left side.

Alternatively, you could use the following formula:

LEFTB (text, [num_bytes])

This produces the same result, but “LEFTB” and “num_bytes” choose the number of characters to extract based on the number of bytes.

The following are some fundamental guidelines for using the Excel LEFT function:

## How to use Excel’s LEFT function

The Excel LEFT function can be used in the following three ways:

**1. Locate or input your datasets**

Identify the datasets you want to use within your spreadsheet. Create a new spreadsheet if you don’t already have one, then enter all of your datasets there. Otherwise, find the data set from which you want to extract information. This formula can be applied to almost any kind of spreadsheet, such as a financial records document or a database of contact information.

**2. Identify the information you want to collect**

Determine the data you want to gather from the datasets you plan to use after you’ve identified them. You can choose whether to gather the customer’s name or phone number from the dataset, for instance, if your spreadsheet is a database that contains both. Additionally, you might choose to only gather a portion of that data to be used as an identifier. You could choose, for instance, to only extract the area codes rather than the entire phone number.

**3. Use the LEFT function**

You can use the LEFT function after identifying the data you want to extract from the datasets. Take a look at the example spreadsheet below:

The formula for the first row using the LEFT function would be “= LEFT (A1,3)” Row**Phone number**Area codeA1404-123-4561404A2770-565-0000770A3404-982-5565404 Three characters from the left are what you are gathering in this scenario, and row A1 is the information-extracting row. You will only be able to extract the first three numbers from the entire phone number because the number is three. Therefore, the result of the function 404. You can repeat the function down the entire “Area code” or results column to apply this formula to all the rows.

Please be aware that Indeed is not connected to any of the organizations mentioned in this article.

## FAQ

**How do I use the left function in Excel?**

Excel’s LEFT function is a type of text function that counts the characters from the string’s beginning from left to right. So, for instance, if we use the formula =LEFT (“ANAND”,2), we will get the result AN.

**What is left and right formula in Excel?**

**·**

**Example of combine LEFT and RIGHT in WPS Spreadsheet**

- Set your cursor to cell B3, which contains the outcome that we want.
- Then, click cell B3, complete the formula by entering: =LEFT(RIGHT(A1,8),4) .
- If you are familiar with the operation of =LEFT(RIGHT(A1,8),4), you can try typing the following formula to obtain the same outcome: