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Excel Formula: Remove first N characters from cell

Here it introduces two formulas to remove the first n characters from a cell in Excel, one uses the REPLACE function, the other one uses the combination of RIGHT function and LEN function.
doc check if contains some but not others 1

Formula 1 Remove first n characters by REPLACE function

Generic formula:

REPLACE(text,1,n_char,"")

Arguments

Text: the value or cell you want to remove its first n characters.
Nth_char: the number of characters you want to remove from left side of the text.

How this formula work

For instance, one column (Column B) contains data, one column (Column C) contains the number of characters you need to remove, and now you can use below formula in column D to get the result.

=REPLACE(B3,1,C3,"")

Press Enter key to remove characters from B3, if you need, drag fill handle down to cells to apply this formula.
doc remove first n chars 2

Explanation

REPLACE function: the REPLACE function replaces the old text with a new text. Here the formula =REPLACE(B3,1,C3,"") can be seen as =REPLACE(B3,1,1,""), which replaces the first one character of text in B3 with empty.

Formula 2 Remove first n characters by RIGHT and LEN functions

Generic formula:

=RIGHT(text,LEN(text)-n_char)

Arguments

Text: the value or cell you want to remove its first n characters.
Nth_char: the number of characters you want to remove from left side of the text.

How this formula work

Example: remove the first n characters from text in B3, please use below formula:

=RIGHT(B3,LEN(B3)-C3)

Press Enter key to remove characters from B3, if you need, drag fill handle down to cells to apply this formula.
doc combine cells with comma 4

Explanation

LEN function: the LEN function gets the number of characters in a text string. Here LEN(B3) gets the length of cell B3, and returns 8.

RIGHT function: the RIGHT function extracts characters from right side of a text string. Here the formula
=RIGHT(B3,LEN(B3)-C3)
=RIGHT(B3,8-3)
=RIGHT(B3,5)

Then extracts five characters from right side of the text in cell B3.

Sample File

doc sampleClick to download sample file


Relative Formulas

  • Check if a cell contains a specific text
    To check if a cell contains some texts in range A but does not contain the texts in range B, you can use an array formula which combines the COUNT, SEARCH and AND function in Excel
  • Check if a cell contains one of several values but exclude other values
    This tutorial will provide a formula to quickly handle the task that check if a cell contains one of things but excluding other values in Excel and explain the arguments of the formula.
  • Check if cell contains one of things
    Supposing in Excel, there is a list of values in column E, you want to check if the cells in column B contain all of the values in column E, and return TRUE or FALSE.
  • Check if cell contains number
    Sometimes, you may want to check if a cell contains numeric characters. This tutorial provides a formula which will return TRUE if the cell contains number, FALSE if cell does not contain number.

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