# How to Remove First 3 Characters in Excel (4 Suitable Methods)

Consider a situation where you have a dataset containing raw data, where the first 3 characters are unnecessary and need to be removed.

### Method 1 – Using RIGHT Function

The combination of RIGHT function and LEN function can remove the first 3 characters from your cells.

Steps:

• In cell C4, apply the RIGHT function nested with the LEN function. The formula is:
`=RIGHT(B4,LEN(B4)-3)`

TheÂ string_cell argument in the function (from where we will remove 3 characters) is B4.

LEN(B4)-3 is used as the num_chars, and will remove the first 3 characters from the cell.

• Press ENTER to return the result.

• Move your mouse cursor to the bottom right corner of your cell. When the cursor shows the cross sign, double-click on the Fill Handle to apply the same function to the rest of the cells.

Read More: How to Remove First Character in Excel

### Method 2 – Using REPLACE Function

The REPLACE function replaces part of a text string with a different text string. Here, we will utilize this function to remove characters from cells by replacing text with nothing.

Steps:

• Enterthe following REPLACE function in cell C4:
`=REPLACE(B4,1,3,"")`

B4 is the Old_text to be replaced.

Start_num is 1, as will start from the beginning of the text.

Num_chars is 3, as we want to replace the first three characters.

New_text is the modified text that will replace the old text, namely nothing (“”).

• Press ENTER to get the result.

• Use theÂ Fill Handle as inÂ Method 1 to copy the same formula to the other cells in the column.

### Method 3 – Using MID Function

The combination of the MID function and the LEN function performs the same operation as Method 1.

Steps:

• Enter the following formula in cell C4:
`=MID(B4,4,LEN(B4)-3)`

Here text is B4.

Start_num is 4, as we will remove the first 3 numbers.

Num_chars is defined as LEN(B4)-3)

• Press ENTER.
• Use theÂ Fill Handle to apply the formula to all cells.

### Method 4 – Using VBA to Create a User Defined Function

You can also define a custom function to do the job using VBA code.

Steps:

• Open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications Window by pressing Alt+F11.

• A new window is opened. In it, click Insert then select Module to open a new module.

• In the newly opened module, enter the following VBA code to make a UFD (user-defined function) to remove the first 3 characters from your cells:
``````Public Function RemoveFirst3(rng As String, cnt As Long)
RemoveFirst3 = Right(rng, Len(rng) - cnt)
End Function``````

• Save the code.
• Go back to the worksheet and in cell C4 start typing =RemoveFirst3 to check our UDF has been created successfully.

• Enter the following function in cell C4:
`=RemoveFirst3(B4,3)`

• Press ENTER to return the result.

• Use theÂ Fill Handle to apply this function to the rest of the cells.

## Things to Remember

Creating a custom formula has more limitations than regular VBA macros, as it cannot alter the structure or format of a worksheet or cell.

Applying the UFD, you can remove any number of characters from your cells.

## Related Articles

<< Go Back To Excel Remove Characters From Left | Excel Remove Characters | Data Cleaning in ExcelÂ |Â Learn Excel

Get FREE Advanced Excel Exercises with Solutions!
Asikul Himel

Asikul Islam Himel, holding a BSc in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, has contributed over two years to the ExcelDemy project. Starting as an Excel & VBA Content Developer, now he manages projects at You Have Got This Math Project. He wrote 60+ articles for ExcelDemy, reviewed 500+, and focused on quality maintenance. Currently, his responsibilities include project management and team leadership. Himel's interests encompass data analysis, leadership, WordPress applications, and... Read Full Bio

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Advanced Excel Exercises with Solutions PDF