How to Use Excel LEFT Function (Examples + Video)

Excel LEFT Function (Example + Video)

Excel LEFT Function

When to use Excel LEFT Function

LEFT function can be used to extract text from left of the string.

What it Returns

It returns the specified number of characters from the left of the string.


=LEFT(text, [num_chars])

Input Arguments

  • text – The text string that contains the characters you want to extract.
  • [num_chars] – (optional) the number of characters to extract from the left of the text string. If you omit this, is defaults to 1.

Additional Notes

  • Num_chars must be greater than or equal to zero.
  • If num_chars is greater than the length of the text, LEFT returns all of text.
  • If the num_chars argument is not given, it returns the left-most character.
  • Spaces are counted as characters.
    • To remove extra spaces from text strings, use the TRIM function.
  • It also works with numbers, as it treats numbers as text (Live Example below).

Excel LEFT Function – Live Example

Excel LEFT Function – Video Tutorial

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Sumit Bansal
Hello there! I'm Sumit Bansal, founder of and an Excel MVP. I started this website in 2013 with a simple goal: to share my love for Excel through easy to follow tips, tutorials and videos. I'm here to help you get the best out of MS Excel to save time and boost your productivity.

1 thought on “How to Use Excel LEFT Function (Examples + Video)”

  1. 112211_1_En_Aaaaaaaas
    I had to split above mentioned 1 cell value into two cells with the values
    112211_1_E one cell
    Aaaaaaaas another cell


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