Excel Text Functions 1 of 4: =LEFT() and =RIGHT()

For 60 second video, click here:

During the next series of posts I will demonstrate some commonly used Text functions. In the illustrated example we populate a CustomerCode column by combining

  • the first letter of the first name,
  • the first 4 letters of the last name, and
  • the last 4 digits of the phone number

=LEFT

Returns the leftmost character(s) of a cell, as specified by the optional Num_chars argument.

LEFT Right Functions_left 4d
click image to view at full resolution

 

Using the LEFT function to copy the leftmost characters of a cell

  1. Select cell to display the result.
  2. On the Formulas tab, in the Function Library group, click Text drop-down and select LEFT.
  3. In Text field select or type cell containing text.
  4. In the Num_chars field enter the number of characters to copy. When left blank the result is only the leftmost character.
  5. Click OK.

Concatenate using ‘&’

Use the Ampersand (&) to concatenate (combine) text. For example, with “North” in A1 and “West” in B1, the formula =A1&B1 returns “NorthWest”

=RIGHT

Returns the rightmost character(s) of a cell, as specified by the optional Num_chars argument.

Using the RIGHT function to copy rightmost character(s) of a cell

  1. Select cell to display the result.
  2. On the Formulas tab, in the Function Library group, click Text drop-down and select RIGHT.
  3. In Text field select or type cell containing text.
  4. In the Num_chars field enter number of characters to copy. When left blank the result is only the rightmost character.
  5. Click OK.

Cheers!

hɔuᴉnb

Additional reading:

Comments and questions are always welcome!

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Author: quincy harley jr

Quincy is a technophile, coach and Learning Development expert. He has an extensive legal IT background and is practiced in MS Office application support and product development. As a project leader he has been integral in numerous new application rollouts. Whatever spare time he has, is spent with reading, archery and watching his young sons grow.

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