# MS Excel: LEFT Function (WS, VBA)

Learn how to use the Excel **LEFT function** with syntax and examples.

## Description

The Microsoft Excel **LEFT function** allows you to extract a substring from a string, starting from the left-most character.

## Syntax

The syntax for the Microsoft Excel **LEFT function** is:

LEFT( text, [number_of_characters] )

### Parameters or Arguments

*text* is the string that you wish to extract from.

*number_of_characters* is optional. It indicates the number of characters that you wish to extract starting from the left-most character. If this parameter is omitted, only 1 character is returned.

## Applies To

The **LEFT function** can be used in the following versions of Microsoft Excel:

- Excel 2013, Excel 2011 for Mac, Excel 2010, Excel 2007, Excel 2003, Excel XP, Excel 2000

## Type of Excel Function

The **LEFT function** can be used in Microsoft Excel as the following type of function:

- Worksheet function (WS)
- VBA function (VBA)

## Example (as Worksheet Function)

Let's look at some Excel LEFT function examples and explore how to use the **LEFT function** as a worksheet function in Microsoft Excel:

Based on the spreadsheet above, the following Excel **LEFT examples** would return:

=LEFT(A1, 5) | would return "Alpha" |

=LEFT(A2, 8) | would return "techonth" |

=LEFT("Excel", 2) | would return "Ex" |

=LEFT("Excel") | would return "E" |

=LEFT("Excel", 25) | would return "Excel" |

## Example (as VBA Function)

The **LEFT function** can also be used in VBA code in Microsoft Excel.

Let's look at some Excel LEFT function examples and explore how to use the **LEFT function** in Excel VBA code:

Dim LResult As String LResult = Left("Alphabet",3)

The variable LResult would now contain the value of "Alp".