#159: Save Time Using Excel’s “Big 3″String Functions

I’ve seen several scenarios recently where someone has needed seperate the contents of a single cell into different columns, and since we are all member of the WSNH club ( Work Smarter Not Harder) we certainly don’t want to retype them from scratch do we?! Here’s how to use Excel’s LEFT, RIGHT and MID functions to extract what you need automatically – the smart way.

If you’re a veteran spreadsheet monkey and already know this you are now officially free to return to your normally scheduled programming….otherwise keep reading for all the nitty gritty details.

Basically what we’re going to do is extract some part of the cell contents and display it in a cell of it’s own. Here is a good before and after example to show you what is possible. Remember, these are all automatically calculated via formulas and no manual data entry is required.

Before:


After:


Grabbing the characters from the front end:

We can use the Left function to extract the characters of the front of the string.


=LEFT(text,number of characters)


Grabbing the characters from the back end:
We can use the Right function to extract the characters of the front of the string.

=RIGHT(text,number of characters)



Grabbing the characters from the middle:

We can use the Mid function to extract the characters of the middle of the string.

=MID(text,start number, number of characters)

How could you use these formulas on your data? Click here to send me a note and let me know.

Have a great weekend!
Mike

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