LEFT Function

This Excel function grabs 1 or more characters from a text string or cell reference from the left. The formula is useful if trying to grab initials from first names or creating account numbers. The function has 2 arguments.

TextIndicates a cell reference or text.
Num_chars (optional)Indicates the number of characters to be retrieved. If no value is provided, Excel defaults to 1
Syntax ExampleWhat Happens
=LEFT(A2)This would retrieve the left-most character from cell A2, which would result in “J”.
=LEFT(“starborm”,4)This would retrieve the left-most 4 characters from “starborm” which would result in “star”.
LEFT formula for grabbing the first letter of the name