How to Truncate Text in Excel

Type the LEFT or RIGHT formula into your selected cell. The LEFT and RIGHT formula are built on the same premise, though the LEFT formula displays characters from the left side of your cell’s text and the RIGHT formula displays characters from the right. The formula is “=DIRECTION(Cell Name, Number of characters to display)” without the quotation marks. For example:[1]

  • =LEFT(A3, 6) displays the first six characters in cell A3. If the text in A3 says “Cats are better”, the truncated text will read “Cats a” in your selected cell.
  • =RIGHT(B2, 5) displays the last 5 characters in cell B2. If the text in B2 says “I love wikiHow”, the truncated text will read “kiHow” in your selected cell.
  • Keep in mind that spaces count as characters.

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