Table of Contents
LEFT function returns the first character or characters in a text string, based on the number of characters you specify.
LEFTB function returns the first character or characters in a text string, based on the number of bytes you specify.
What is the difference between LEFT and LEFTB?
LEFT is intended for use with languages that use the single-byte character set (SBCS), whereas LEFTB 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:
- LEFT always counts each character, whether single-byte or double-byte, as 1, no matter what the default language setting is.
- LEFTB 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, LEFTB counts each character as 1.
The languages that support DBCS include Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Korean, and Japanese.
Text Required. The text string that contains the characters you want to extract.
Num_chars Optional. Specifies the number of characters you want LEFT to extract.
- Num_chars must be greater than or equal to zero.
- If num_chars is greater than the length of text, LEFT returns all of text.
- If num_chars is omitted, it is assumed to be 1.
Num_bytes Optional. Specifies the number of characters you want LEFTB to extract, based on bytes.
Example 1: LEFT
The example may be easier to understand if you copy A1:C5 to a blank worksheet.
Example 2: LEFTB
equals "中". LEFTB returns the first 2 characters, because each character is counted as 2.
equals "中国". LEFT returns the first 2 characters, because each character is counted as 1. LEFT returns the first 2 characters no matter what the default language setting is on your computer.
See also: Excel text functions
- Changes full-width (double-byte) English letters or katakana within a character string to half-width (single-byte) characters
- Converts a number to text, using the ß (baht) currency format
- Returns the character specified by the code number
- Removes all nonprintable characters from text
- Returns a numeric code for the first character in a text string
- Joins several text items into one text item
- Converts a number to text, using the $ (dollar) currency format
- Checks to see if two text values are identical
- FIND, FINDB
- Finds one text value within another (case-sensitive)
- Formats a number as text with a fixed number of decimals
- 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
- Converts text to lowercase
- MID, MIDB
- Returns a specific number of characters from a text string starting at the position you specify
- Extracts the phonetic (furigana) characters from a text string
- Capitalizes the first letter in each word of a text value
- REPLACE, REPLACEB
- Replaces characters within text
- 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)
- Substitutes new text for old text in a text string
- Converts its arguments to text
- Formats a number and converts it to text
- Removes spaces from text
- Converts text to uppercase
- Converts a text argument to a number