MID, MIDB Function

Description

MID returns a specific number of characters from a text string, starting at the position you specify, based on the number of characters you specify.

MIDB returns a specific number of characters from a text string, starting at the position you specify, based on the number of bytes you specify.

What is the difference between MID and MIDB?

MID is intended for use with languages that use the single-byte character set (SBCS), whereas MIDB is intended for use with languages that use the double-byte character set (DBCS). The default language setting on your computer affects the return value in the following way:

  • MID always counts each character, whether single-byte or double-byte, as 1, no matter what the default language setting is.
  • MIDB counts each double-byte character as 2 when you have enabled the editing of a language that supports DBCS and then set it as the default language. Otherwise, MIDB counts each character as 1.

The languages that support DBCS include Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Korean, and Japanese.

Syntax

MID(text, start_num, num_chars)
MIDB(text, start_num, num_bytes)

Parameters

Text Required. The text string containing the characters you want to extract.
Start_num Required. The position of the first character you want to extract in text. The first character in text has start_num 1, and so on.
Num_chars Required. Specifies the number of characters you want MID to return from text.
Num_bytes Required. Specifies the number of characters you want MIDB to return from text, in bytes.

Remarks

  • If start_num is greater than the length of text, MID returns "" (empty text).
  • If start_num is less than the length of text, but start_num plus num_chars exceeds the length of text, MID returns the characters up to the end of text.
  • If start_num is less than 1, MID returns the #VALUE! error value.
  • If num_chars is negative, MID returns the #VALUE! error value.
  • If num_bytes is negative, MIDB returns the #VALUE! error value.

Examples

Example 1: MID

The example may be easier to understand if you copy A1:C7 to a blank worksheet.

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2
3
4
5
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7
A B C
Formula Result Description
=MID("Excel 2013",1,5) Excel Five characters from the string, starting at the first character.
=MID("Excel 2013",7,4) 2013 Four characters from the string, starting at the seventh character.
=MID("Excel 2013",11,5) start_num is greater than the length of text, MID returns "".
=MID("Excel 2013",4,15) el 2013 MID returns the characters from start_num to the end of text.
=MID("Excel 2013",0,5) #VALUE! start_num is less than 1, MID returns the #VALUE! error value.
=MID("Excel 2013",-1,5) #VALUE! num_chars is negative, MID returns the #VALUE! error value.

Example 2: MIDB

=MIDB("中国香港",3,4)

equals "国香". Because each character is counted as 2; the second argument specifies a starting point at the three byte, which is the second character, and the third argument specifies a length of 4 bytes, which is two character.

=MID("中国香港",3,4)

equals "香港". Because each character is counted as 1; the second argument specifies a starting point at the third character, and the third argument specifies a length of 4 characters. MID returns "香港" no matter what the default language setting is on your computer.

Example 3: convert text to number

LEFT function returns text values, sometimes, if you want to returns number values, you may add "--" in the formula. For example:

=--MID("Excel 2013",6,5)

equals 2013.

Video training

See also: Excel text functions

ASC
Changes full-width (double-byte) English letters or katakana within a character string to half-width (single-byte) characters
BAHTTEXT
Converts a number to text, using the ß (baht) currency format
CHAR
Returns the character specified by the code number
CLEAN
Removes all nonprintable characters from text
CODE
Returns a numeric code for the first character in a text string
CONCATENATE
Joins several text items into one text item
DOLLAR
Converts a number to text, using the $ (dollar) currency format
EXACT
Checks to see if two text values are identical
FIND, FINDB
Finds one text value within another (case-sensitive)
FIXED
Formats a number as text with a fixed number of decimals
WIDECHAR
Changes half-width (single-byte) English letters or katakana within a character string to full-width (double-byte) characters
LEFT, LEFTB
Returns the leftmost characters from a text value
LEN, LENB
Returns the number of characters in a text string
LOWER
Converts text to lowercase
MID, MIDB
Returns a specific number of characters from a text string starting at the position you specify
PHONETIC
Extracts the phonetic (furigana) characters from a text string
PROPER
Capitalizes the first letter in each word of a text value
REPLACE, REPLACEB
Replaces characters within text
REPT
Repeats text a given number of times
RIGHT, RIGHTB
Returns the rightmost characters from a text value
SEARCH, SEARCHB
Finds one text value within another (not case-sensitive)
SUBSTITUTE
Substitutes new text for old text in a text string
T
Converts its arguments to text
TEXT
Formats a number and converts it to text
TRIM
Removes spaces from text
UPPER
Converts text to uppercase
VALUE
Converts a text argument to a number

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