Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Excel LEFT Function

How to Use RIGHT, LEFT, and MID Functions in Excel

Excel's RIGHT, LEFT, and MID functions are used to extract a specific number of characters from a text string.

The LEFT Function

The LEFT function returns the specified number of characters from the start, or the left, of a text string. The syntax for the LEFT function looks like this: =LEFT(text, [num_chars]).

  1. Click in the cell where you want to insert the function.
  2. Click the Formulas tab.
  3. Click the Text Function button.
  4. Select LEFT.
    The LEFT Function

    The Function Arguments dialog box opens where you specify the parameters.

  5. In the Text field, select the cell containing text you want to extract.
  6. In the Num_chars field,enter the number of characters you want to extract.
  7. Click OK.
    The LEFT Function

The text is extracted and the specified number of characters from the left of the text string are placed in the current cell.

The RIGHT Function

The RIGHT function returns the specified number of characters from the end, or the right, of a text string. The syntax for the RIGHT function looks like this: =RIGHT(text, [num_chars]).

  1. Click in the cell where you want to insert the function.
  2. Click the Formulas tab.
  3. Click the Text Function button.
  4. Select RIGHT.
    The RIGHT Function

    The Function Arguments dialog box opens where you specify the parameters.

  5. In the Text field, select the cell containing text you want to extract.
  6. In the Num_chars field,enter the number of characters you want to extract.
  7. Click OK.
    The RIGHT Function

The text is extracted and the specified number of characters from the right of the text string are placed in the current cell.

The MID Function

The MID function is the trickiest of these text functions. It returns the specified number of characters from the middle of a text string. The syntax for the MID function looks like this: =MID(text, start_num, num_chars).

  1. Click in the cell where you want to insert the function.
  2. Click the Formulas tab.
  3. Click the Text Function button.
  4. Select MID.
    The MID Function

    The Function Arguments dialog box opens where you specify the parameters.

  5. In the Text field, select the cell containing text you want to extract.
  6. In the Start_num field,enter the position of the first character you want to extract.
  7. In the Num_chars field,enter the number of characters you want to extract, starting with the character specified in the previous field.
  8. Click OK.
    The MID Function

The text is extracted and the specified number of characters from the middle of the text string are placed in the current cell.

FREE Quick Reference

Click to Download