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Syntax For Excel LEFT Function

What is the use Excel LEFT Function?

Excel LEFT Function can extract a specified characters from a cell starting from the first (Left) character. You have to specify the numbers of characters which you want to extract from the text string.

Use Excel LEFT Function

Syntax for Excel LEFT Function


text A text or number from which you want to extract some characters. [Required]

num_char Number of characters you want to extract. [Optional]

More Information on Excel LEFT Function

  • num_char can be zero or greater than zero.
  • If you skip specifying num_char, it will assume 1 as default.
  • You can’t refer to more than one cell. If you do that it will return the characters from the top right cell of the selected range.
  • It can work with numbers also in the same manner.
  • It can also work as an array formula.
  • With negative num_char, it will return an error.
  • You can also enter a text string directly into the formula.

Examples to understand Excel LEFT Function

In below example, I have extracted the first five digits from the text string using Left Formula. I have just specified the number of characters to extract from the string.

Excel Left Function To Extract Text

In below example, I have used LEN Function & Find Function along with the LEFT Function to create a formula which can extract the name from the cell. It will first count total length of the text string then find the position of space between first & last name & in the end left function extracted the first name from the test string.

Split Name With Excel LEFT Function

Download Sample File

Download Sample File To Learn Excel LEFT Function

More Tips Related With Excel LEFT Function


While working with text data Excel Left Formula is highly useful to streamline your data. As I mentioned in above example you can use it with other functions to get some dynamic results. Learn more about here.

Related Text Function

Right | Mid | Len

Excel Functions | Excel Formulas