Sometimes you may need to create a worksheet formula that examines the left-most characters in a different cell. To allow for this need, Excel provides the LEFT worksheet function. You use it by specifying the cell or value to use, along with the number of character to return. For instance, the following formula returns the three left-most characters in cell A7:
If the value in A7 is not text, then LEFT still treats it as if it is. Thus, if A7 contains 12345, then the above formula returns the text value 123.