Excel Function: LEFT

The Excel function LEFT retrieves the number of characters of your choice from the left of a text string.


=LEFT(text, number_of_characters)

Example of use

The aim here is to retrieve the code that corresponds to the first 3 characters of the reference number:

excel function left

Select the LEFT function and enter:

left function

The LEFT function indeed returns the first three characters of the reference number:


Then stretch the formula down to complete the other cells:

left down