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 How to truncate number/text string in Excel?

In some times, there is a list of strings, which includes some long strings, and for neat and tidy, you may want to truncate the strings into a fixed length as below screenshot shown. Have you any tricks to quickly solve it in Excel?

Truncate strings with formula

Truncate strings with Text to Columns

Truncate strings with Kutools for Excel good idea3


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arrow blue right bubble   Truncate strings with formula


For instance, here I just truncate the strings into six digit from left, and below formula can do a favor.

Select a blank cell next to the string you want to truncate, and enter this formula =LEFT(A1,6) (A1 is the string you use, and 6 indicates truncate the string into six characters), then drag fill handle over the cells which also need this formula. See screenshot:
doc truncate string 1

Tip: If you want to truncate string from right side or middle, you can apply below formula:

Truncate into 4 digit from right side: =RIGHT(A1,4)

doc truncate string 2

Truncate into 3 digit from the fourth character: =MID(A1,4,3)
doc truncate string 3


In Excel, you also can apply the Text to Columns function to split string into columns based on fixed width.

1. Select the strings you want to truncate, and click Data > Text to Columns. See screenshot:
doc truncate string 4

2. In the step 1 of the Text to Columns wizard, check Fixed width option. See screenshot:
doc truncate string 5

3. Click Next > to go to the step 2 of the wizard, and go to the Data preview section, click at the position of the string you want to split to create an arrow line. See screenshot:
doc truncate string 6

4. Click Next > to go to the step 3 of the wizard, and specify a cell as the destination for splitting. See screenshot:
doc truncate string 7

5. Click Finish. And the strings have been split by fixed width as you need.
doc truncate string 8


Actually, if you have Kutools for Excel – a handy tool, you can apply its Remove by Position utility to quickly remove the characters you do not need for truncating the string.

  Kutools for Excel, with more than 300 handy functions, makes your jobs more easier. 

After installing Kutools for Excel, please do as below:(Free Download Kutools for Excel Now!)

1. Select the strings you want to truncate, click Kutools > Text > Remove by Position. See screenshot:
doc truncate string 12

2. In the prompt dialog, enter the number of characters you want to remove in Numbers textbox, and check an option from Position section which decides the position you remove from. See screenshot:
doc truncate string 10

3. Click Ok or Apply, the strings have been truncated as you need.
doc truncate string 11



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