How to extract first/last n characters from string in Excel?
For instance, there is a list with long strings in each cell, and you want to extract the first n characters from each string only, like the first 3 characters of each string, and now you can use the following methods to solve it in Excel.
Quickly remove special characters(numeric/alpha) from cells in Excel
|Just several clicks with Remove Characters utilty of Kutools for Excel, the special characters will be removed from cells at once.
Click for free trial in 30 days!
|Kutools for Excel: with more than 300 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 30 days.|
Extract first n characters from string
Select a blank cell, here I select the Cell G1, and type this formula =LEFT(E1,3) (E1 is the cell you want to extract the first 3 characters from), press Enter button, and drag fill handle to the range you want. Then you see the first 3 characters are extracted.
If you want to extract the last n characters, like the last 3 characters, type this formula = RIGHT(E1, 3).
The Remove by Position feature of Kutools for Excel also can extract the first or last n characters only from strings in Excel.
1. Select the range you want to extract first 3 characters firstly, and click Kutools > Text Tools > Remove by position. See screenshot:
2. In the Remove by Position dialog, you need to type the number of the characters you want to remove from the string into the Numbers textbox, like in this case, I want to reserve the first 3 characters, so I need to remove 8 characters from right, then check From right. See screenshot
3. Click Ok, and you see only the first 3 character are reserved.
Tip: If you want to extract the last 3 characters, check From left and specify the number of the characters you want to remove from the strings.
1. Applying this feature will change your original data, you’d better copy them firstly.
2. Only all the strings in each cell have the some characters long can this feature work.