### Method 1 – Basic Use of LEFT Function: Extract String from Left Side

**Steps:**

- Select
**Cell D5**and insert the following formula.

`=LEFT(B5,4)`

- Press
**Enter**and drag down the**Fill Handle**tool to autofill this formula for the rest of the cells.

**B4**as

**text**and

**4**as

**num_chars**.

- Tthe
**LEFT**function will provide the**Employee ID**for all the values.

### Method 2 – Insert Excel LEFT & SEARCH Functions to Extract Text up to Specific Character

**Steps:**

- Insert the following formula in cell
**C5**.

`=LEFT(B5,SEARCH("@",B5)-1)`

- Press
**Enter**. - Drag-down the
**Fill Handle**tool to use this formula for the rest of the Cells.

**@**, the

**SEARCH**function would return the position of

**@**. We wanted up to

**@**, so we subtracted 1 from the position number. This provided the user name.

- The
**LEFT**and**SEARCH**functions will provide the**User Name**for all the values.

### Method 3 – Remove Characters from End of a String Using LEFT & LEN Functions

**Steps:**

- Select cell
**C5**and insert the following formula.

`=LEFT(B5,LEN(B5)-7)`

- Press
**Enter**and drag down the**Fill Handle**tool to autofill this formula for the rest of the cells.

** How Does the Formula Work?**

- The
**LEN**function determines the total number of characters of the given string. - The
**LEFT**formula removes the unwanted part of the string. - Yhe
**LEFT**function returns the rest of the characters in Excel.

- You will get the Athlete’s
**First Name**using the**LEFT**and**LEN**functions.

### Method 4 – Force to Return Numbers Applying Excel LEFT & VALUE Functions

**Steps:**

- Select
**Cell C5**and type the following formula.

`=VALUE(LEFT(B5,3))`

- Press
**Enter**and drag down the**Fill Handle**tool.

** How Does the Formula Work?**

- Initially, The
**LEFT**function returns the first**3**characters from the**ID.** - The
**VALUE**function converts text that appears in a recognized format into a numeric value.

- Using the formula, we have found the 3 characters from the string and converted them into numeric.

## Things to Remember

- If we provide a value less than
**0**into the**num_chars**field, then it will provide**#VALUE! Error**. - Secondly, for dates, you may not find the exact value you are wanting. From a date, if you want to find the
**day**portion, you may write**LEFT**with**2**in the**num_chars**field. But will find another value, not the day value of the provided date. - Usually, Excel stores
**dates**as sequential**serial numbers**. 1 January 1900 is the 1st date, and its serial number is 1. From there every date has its subsequent serial number. Thus, the functions convert dates to their respective serial number before doing the operations. - Therefore, if you set the cell containing the date into
**General**you will find the serial number. The formula will extract from that serial number. - Finally, you can also provide the text value directly into the function.

**Download Practice Workbook**

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