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How To Remove First, Last X Characters Or Certain Position Characters From Text In Excel?

For most of Excel users, sometimes, you need to delete first n characters from the beginning of the text strings or remove the last x characters from the end of the text strings as below screenshot shown. This article, I will introduce some handy tricks for solving this task quickly and easily in Excel.
 

doc remove first x characters 1


Method 1: Remove first or last x characters from text strings with formulas

 Remove first x characters from the beginning of the text strings:

In Excel, you can use the RIGHT and LEFT functions to remove the certain number of characters from the beginning or the end of the strings, please do as this:

1. Type or copy the following formula in a blank cell C4 where you want to put the result:

=RIGHT(A4, LEN(A4)-2)

and press Enter key to get the first result. See screenshot:

doc remove first x characters 2

Note: In the above formula:

  • A4 is the cell value that you want to remove characters;
  • The number 2 means the number of characters you want to remove from the beginning of the text string.

2. Then, select the cell C4 and drag the fill handle down to the cells where you want to apply this formula, and all the first 2 characters have been removed from the text strings, see screenshot:

doc remove first x characters 3


 Remove last x characters from the end of the text strings:

If you need to remove the last several characters, you can use the LEFT function as the same as the RIGHT function.

Please enter or copy this formula into a blank cell:

=LEFT(A4, LEN(A4)-9)

and then drag the fill handle down to the cells that you want to apply this formula, and last 9 characters have been deleted from the text strings at once, see screenshot:

doc remove first x characters 4

Note: In the above formula:

  • A4 is the cell value that you want to remove characters;
  • The number 9 means the number of characters you want to remove from the end of the text string.

Method 2: Remove first or last x characters from text strings with User Defined Function

Here is a User Defined Function which also can help you to remove first or last n characters from text strings, please do as this:

 Remove first x characters from the beginning of the text strings:

1. Hold down the Alt + F11 keys to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

2. Click Insert > Module, and paste the following code in the Module Window.

Public Function removeFirstx(rng As String, cnt As Long)
removeFirstx = Right(rng, Len(rng) - cnt)
End Function

3. Then go back to the worksheet, and then enter this formula: =removefirstx(A4,2) into a blank cell, and then drag the fill handle down to get the results as you need, see screenshot:

doc remove first x characters 5

Note: In the above formula:

  • A4 is the cell that you want to remove characters;
  • The number 2 indicates the number of characters you would like to remove from the beginning of the text string.

 Remove last x characters from the end of the text strings:

To remove last n characters from the text strings, please apply the following User Defined Function:

Public Function removeLastx(rng As String, cnt As Long)
removeLastx = Left(rng, Len(rng) - cnt)
End Function

And then apply this formula: =removelastx(A4,9) to get the results as you need, see screenshot:

doc remove first x characters 6

Note: In the above formula:

  • A4 is the cell that you want to remove characters;
  • The number 9 indicates the number of characters you would like to remove from the end of the text string.

Method 3: Remove first, last x characters or certain position characters without any formulas

Using the Excel functions to remove certain characters is not as directly as it is. Just take a look at the way provided in this method, which is no more than two or three mouse clicks. With the Remove by Position utility of the third party add-in Kutools for Excel, you can be easy to remove first, last or certain characters from the text string. Click to download Kutools for Excel! Please see below demo:

After installing Kutools for Excel, please apply Remove by Position according to these steps:

1. Select the range that you want to remove the certain characters. Then click Kutools > Text > Remove by Position. See screenshot:

2. Specify the following operations in the pop-up Remove by Position dialog box.

  • (1.) Specify the number of characters to be deleted.
  • (2.) Choose From left option under the Position section to delete the first n characters, see screenshot:

doc remove first x characters 8

Tips: The Remove by Position utility also can help you to remove the last n characters or the certain characters from specific position.

Method 4: Remove both first x and last x characters from text strings with formula

Sometimes, you would like to remove characters from text strings on both sides, for example, you need to remove first 2 characters and last 9 characters at the same time. Here, the MID function can do you a favor.

1. Please enter or copy this formula into a blank cell:

=MID(A4,3,LEN(A4)-11)

and press Enter key to get the first result. See screenshot:

doc remove first x characters 11

Note: In the above formula:

  • A4 is the cell value that you want to remove characters;
  • The number 3 is one more than the number of characters you want to remove from the left side;
  • The number 11 is the total number of characters you want to remove.

2. Then, select the cell C4 and drag the fill handle down to the cells where you want to apply this formula, and all the first 2 and last 9 characters have been removed immediately from the text strings, see screenshot:

doc remove first x characters 12



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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Velks · 1 years ago
    @NABEEL Use "text to column"
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    skyyang · 1 years ago
    @internet9135@gmail.com Hi, Giridhar,
    Maybe the below article can solve your problem, please try, thank you!
    https://www.extendoffice.com/documents/excel/829-excel-split-first-last-name.html
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    internet9135@gmail.com · 1 years ago
    Hi I have a data with names and surnames of some people, i want to separate surname in coloumn and name in another coloumn, surnames are not same like michel, john, daniel, williams like please help me to separate surname by using formula, I have lot of data
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Jakub · 1 years ago
    If number or character differ you can use example below (I needed to remove the last character):
    =PART(A1;1;(LENGTH(A1)-1))
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    NABEEL · 2 years ago
    I WANT TO TRIM TEXT LENGTH, FOR EXAMPLE I HAVE SOME ADDRESS THAT LENGTH SOME COLUM 10 CHARECTOR AND SOME COLUM 20 CHARECTOR SOME 15 CHARECTOR IN THIS CASE I WANT TO TRIM WHICH COLUM TEXT MORE THAN 15 I WANT TO TRIM THAT COLUM TEXT TO 15 CHARECTOR, DONT TRIM OTHER COLUM TEXTS


    ANYBODY HELP ME
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    dezignextllc@gmail.com · 2 years ago
    Very helpful tip. Something we use a lot in our environment.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Serkan · 2 years ago
    I gave function error when I apply formula to cell. After 2 hours I try it again by using (;) instead of (,) and result positive. As result of;
    =removelastx(E4,3) (not working)
    =removelastx(E4;3) (working)
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Biswanath · 2 years ago
    @Tumisang Use the formula =RIGHT(A2,LEN(A2)-11)
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Sameer · 2 years ago
    How to remove the first character from a cell but not in every cell in that column? Thanks!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Randy Ralston · 2 years ago
    This helped to get the result from an entry but I am unable to LOOKUP the new value.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Mohammad Barzakh · 2 years ago
    This really helps me a lot in my daily working.

    Thanks
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    siena · 2 years ago
    Hi,
    I have the formula that gives me the #value error that I don't seem to be able to figure out how to fix it.

    Thank you in advance.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Jesus · 3 years ago
    How can I type the command to cut text from the left and the right?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    wingstana@gmail.com · 3 years ago
    I can't make this formula work, I type : =LEFT(A1,LEN(A1)-4) and it gives error everytime.
    My A1 column has the following data: ELDB-AK-S-42228-001


    Why isn't this working?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    baba · 3 years ago
    @HELPY try =RIGHT(A1, LEN(A1)-4) assuming characters before the first (-) are 3 digits long
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    garza01 · 3 years ago
    @Jeremy Try this, it solves exactly the way you want it.


    =IF((IFERROR((FIND(" ",A1,((FIND(" ",A1,1))+1)))/(FIND(" ",A1,((FIND(" ",A1,1))+1))),0))=1,LEFT(A1,((FIND(" ",A1,((FIND(" ",A1,1))+1)))-1)),A1)



    A1 is Taylor Jeremy D or without the D, as you wish
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Jorge · 3 years ago
    @Jeremy Just for lettiing you know that I solved your problem, I hope im not too late.

    =SI((SIERREUR((TROUVE(" ";R9;((TROUVE(" ";R9;1))+1)))/(TROUVE(" ";R9;((TROUVE(" ";R9;1))+1)));0))=1;GAUCHE(R9;((TROUVE(" ";R9;((TROUVE(" ";R9;1))+1)))-1));R9)



    Cell R9 is your Taylor Jeremy D, try it with and without the D and you'll see it works fine
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Alex B. · 3 years ago
    @Sigma Can also be accomplished with the below string, which is simpler and doesn't require formulas in multiple cells. Following same assumption that data is in A1 and the initial is always 1 character. TRIM function added within the LEN function in case there are unseen trailing spaces in the data. TRIM function added at the beginning of the formula will delete any residual spacing after the LEFT function is executed.

    =TRIM(LEFT(A1,LEN(TRIM(A1))-1))

    Or if you don't like the leading TRIM function you can subtract 2 characters from the LEN function instead of just the one. I prefer TRIM route in case there are more than 1 spaces in between the name and middle initial - have to account for inconsistent data entry.

    =LEFT(A1,LEN(TRIM(A1))-2)
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Myke · 3 years ago
    i have a list of sizes that have numbers and names, words,etc. i want to remove all letters in the entire column leaving only the numbers. how do i remove all letter which come in hundreds of different variations and lengths?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Sigma · 3 years ago
    @Jeremy If the text name (Taylor Jeremy D) located in A1, you can use below function to acheive the result (remove the last name):
    =LEFT(A1,FIND(" ",A1,1))&LEFT(RIGHT(A1,LEN(A1)-A2),FIND(" ",RIGHT(A1,LEN(A1)-A2))-1)
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    shah · 3 years ago
    @Michael M. =mid(A1,4,len(a1))
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    shah · 3 years ago
    @SAMULA =year(date)
    you can get year
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    shah · 3 years ago
    @George use column to text in data section
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Muhammad Awais Youna · 3 years ago
    Helpful, thanks
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Jeremy · 3 years ago
    Hi there everyone,
    I am trying to remove an initial in a field that includes a persons name. An example is

    Taylor Jeremy D In this example I am trying to remove the D and just leave surname and first name there.

    The problem is that I have a heap of data which is inconsistently entered meaning that some of the fields have an initial (like that above) and some just say a name like Taylor Jeremy (without an initial).



    Any ideas so that I can have a consistent data set and one that excludes the initial?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Gaurav · 3 years ago
    @pejot Hey you can do this with a combination of functions:


    =CONCATENATE(LEFT(Y4;FIND("c";Y4)-1);RIGHT(Y4;LEN(Y4)-FIND("c";Y4)-1))



    Concatenate brings the two strings together, because you want to take a left side of the string and combine it with a right side of the string eliminating the middle values.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    pejot · 3 years ago
    Hi there,
    im looking for a solution. Problem is that i have two colums of data where 1st column contain some text that part of is invalid and need to be removed, 2nd column contain invalid text string.


    Let's say cell A1 contain text string "ABCDEF"

    Cell A2 contain invalid part of the string, for example "CD"


    After removing invalid text string, cell A1 will look like this: "ABEF".

    How to do that? Thanks in advance!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    G · 3 years ago
    remove all but the characters after a certain character. =RIGHT(G2,LEN(G2)-FIND("[",G2,4)). I was doing this for states so I had to convert the state into a unique character to reduce it down to 1 character rather then " NM ".
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Tumisang · 3 years ago
    Good day



    Kindly assist in removing the letters which appear like that on numbers using excel







    26772309814Trudie



    Regards
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    chandran k · 3 years ago
    Hai

    Ex : AS SPLSH (CW) 100ml (112)

    hove to remove last (sum numbers)
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Manohar Adsule · 3 years ago
    Worked for me. Thanks
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Mohamed · 3 years ago
    [b]very nice tip[/b]
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Pratik · 3 years ago
    @thilip You can use Find and Replace (Ctr + H). Find what: "*-" and Replace with: keep this field blank. Then click replace.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    ankit · 3 years ago
    @ZEDD select the specific column and in "data" panel.. click "remove duplicates"
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    thilip · 3 years ago
    Please tell me how to get particular data in a cell
    Example
    Column A
    Ip-bs-bedroom
    Gh-ff-kitchen
    Ip-gh-main door
    .
    .
    Now I want in column B has only location ,that's bedroom, kitchen so I want to remove other except location
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Manish Gupta · 4 years ago
    Dear Member,
    How do we find
    Data Required
    201 205
    2102 2105
    203 205
    2015 2015
    207 210
    2147 2150
    1000 1000
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    HELPY · 4 years ago
    Hi I want to remove everything after the first dash(-) and keep only the letters.
    How do I do that?
    example 123-ABC-BDER-AKD
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Praveen Issac Shaji · 4 years ago
    Hi,

    I need support from Kutools team as i believe only you guys can help me. I have purchased a kutools license and couldn't find this feature in it.

    I would like to password protect/unprotect a 'sheet1' of 300 workbooks in one folder.
    For example: Only certain cells are editable in the password protected sheet1. You need to unprotect it with a password to edit all the cells.

    Scenario : When I open a workbook sheet1 opens and only certain cells are editable.(This is for on fields workers)
    For office purpose all the cells have to be editable and this is protected with a password which on field workers don't know.

    After some editing we have to protect back the sheet and save it.
    This happens for 300 workbooks' sheet1.
    So everytime

    [b]Opening workbook -> Review->Unprotect Sheet->Enter Password.[/b]
    After Changes
    [b]Review->Protect sheet->Enter Password->Save
    [/b]

    Can we do the above steps for a folder of workbooks using a VBA or any such help would be much appreciated.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Saif · 4 years ago
    I have data on browsers used by users where in I need to separate version type and names.
    Formula used by me is =LEFT(F7(MIN(FIND({0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9},F7&"0123456789")))-1). But its not working for all inputs. Data available is List of browser versions. Output needed is Group the browser versions. For example, Google Chrome 9.0, Google Chrome 9.1 and Google Chrome 9.3 should be grouped under “Google Chrome”. Version => Type: Google Chrome 9.1 => Google Chrome. Google Chrome 9.0 => Google Chrome. Google Chrome 8.0 => Google Chrome. Google Chrome 7.0 => Google Chrome. Google Chrome 6.0 => Google Chrome. Conditions are: Do not pivot the table. Need two columns – Version and Type. You can split the column but the catch is, few versions have numbers in the beginning. Eg: 360 Secure Browser
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Maria · 4 years ago
    Hi!

    I Would like to removed selected characters on my excel workbook, how will i do that? is there any formulas for it?

    your immediate advice is highly appreciated.

    Thanks & BR,
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Carlos · 4 years ago
    Hi.
    I would like to remove the last characters by using find and replace, but with Excel's Visual Basic (with commands).
    I would like to create a file that loads an existing file and creates a new one, with the column edited.

    Any help will be appreciated.

    Regards,
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Xavier · 4 years ago
    @YODA Hi Yoda,

    just do a find and replace. You can easily acces the function using CTRL+F.
    You will want to look for "*" and replace with ""
    basically, wherever excel finds * it will replace it with a blank.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    YODA · 4 years ago
    how can I mass delete a * in a excel spreadsheet description line?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    N-tone · 4 years ago
    Thanks you for a very simple and a comprehensible approach. It works!!!! God bless you my dear Fellow-Anonymous!
    It took me 2 days of painful searches through Russian web and quite a number brain cells to find Excel Functions in Russian with explanatory notes provided, but all was in vain just because formulas refuse to work!! It seems like the accessibility and the total unwillingless to share common practices among my Russian colleagues, who just pretend they know *uck all about Microsoft products is still a big issue!!
    No, seriously, I owe u!
    Thanks!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    narender · 4 years ago
    send the kutools for xp
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    David · 4 years ago
    @Shabi =LEFT(A1,SEARCH(" ",A1)-1) Should do the trick.
    Basically saying;
    I want text starting from the left of the string in A1, then i want to find the location of the first instance of a space and minus one from that. (otherwise your found string will contain the space).
    Simple enough, hope this helps.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Ramin Ramesh · 4 years ago
    hey tanx dears
    Replace All worked for me. hhhh very good trick..
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    SARPK · 4 years ago
    I want to delete the left 4 digit in whole sheet...

    for example 5895012032251........the result should be 012032251
    I can do the one only but how to do in whole worksheet..
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Sachin Sawang · 4 years ago
    Hi Team,

    Need formula for removing first character from cell if it is special only.

    Kindly help...
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Uma Kanth · 4 years ago
    @ZEDD Hi Zedd,

    For the task mentioned by you. We can use IF and COUNT IF combination Ex: =IF(COUNTIF($A$1:$A$275,A1)= 1,A1,FALSE)

    Regards,
    Umakanth Ramineedi