What is the use of LEFT Function in Excel?

The Excel LEFT function extracts a given number of characters from the left side of a supplied text string.

  • Purpose: Extract text from the left of a string
  • Return value: One or more characters.


=LEFT (text, [num_chars])


  • text - The text from which to extract characters.
  • num_chars - [optional] The number of characters to extract, starting on the left side of text. Default = 1.


To extract the first three characters of “January”:

=LEFT("January",3) // returns "Jan"