**Home ► Excel Functions ► 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.

**Syntax for Excel LEFT Function**

**LEFT**(**text**,**num_chars**)

**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.

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.

**Download Sample File**

**Conclusion**

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**

**Excel Functions | Excel Formulas**