 # Extract values from cell using LEFT, RIGHT, MID

Imagine that you wanted to create a new column on a spreadsheet. But part of the information is already in another column? For example:

You wanted to distribute the first, middle and last names from a cell into three separate cells.

Do you bristle when you see someone wasting precious time for this?

Case study 1

Think you have a column in your excel sheet and each cell’s strings contained three distinct parts. As like the above picture:

1. The first three characters (the P-numbers) represent a product code.
2. The second two digits (the B-numbers) represent a price code.
3. The final three digits (the C-numbers) represent a customer code.

You wanted to separate out those three pieces into different columns.

If the text is embedded in a cell, you can extract it!

One easy way to solve this problem is by using the Left, Right, or Mid functions.

But before we learn How to Extract values from a cell using LEFT / RIGHT / MID, We must learn what are these functions

LEFT function lets you specify the number of characters you want. Either from the beginning of another cell or from a specified string of text or numbers.

RIGHT function lets you specify the number of characters you want. Either from the end of another cell or from a specified string of text or numbers.

MID function lets you specify the number of characters you want. Either from a point, you specify in the middle of another cell or specified string of text or numbers.

Now let’s do it using the following steps! Step 1: Create a table same as like above picture.

Column A is showing the Whole Code from where we are going to extract.

Column B is to extract only Product Code from Code column A.

Column C is to extract only Price Code from Code column A.

Column D is to extract only Customer Code from Code column A.

Now let’s fun with string functions of cell A2. Step 2: Grabbing the first three characters (Product Code).

To extract the first three characters which are product code of the text entries. Use the Left function like this in Cell B2:

=Left(source_string,number_of_characters)

In our example:

source_string: A2

number_of_characters: 3

So, In cell B2 we can type:

=Left(A2,3)

Now press ENTER and see the Magic! Step 3: Now we get only the product code from cell A2 into Cell B2 like above picture. Now copy this formula into other cells of column B using Fill Handle from selected cell B2. So, we will get same another product code from other cells of column A. Step 4: Now we have got all product code in Column B as like above picture. Step 5: Pulling out the two characters in the middle. To extract the two characters in the middle of the string, we’ll use the Mid function, which takes the form:

=Mid(source_string,start_position,length)

In our example:

source_string: A2

start_position: 4

Length: 2

Now let’s extract Price Code from the cell A2 into C2 using this formula:

=Mid(A2,4,2)

Then press ENTER and copy the same into other cells of column C. Step 6: So, now we have got the Price code in column C. Step 7: Extracting the last three characters of a string. To extract the last three characters of a string, you use the Right function in the form:

=Right(source_string,number_of_characters)

In our example:

source_string: A2

number_of_characters: 3

Now let’s do the same in Column D to extract Customer code using below formula:

=Right(A2,3)

Press ENTER and copy the same in other cells of Column D. Now, we have got our final result as seen in the above picture. We have also learned How to Extract values from a cell using LEFT, RIGHT, MID.

Enjoy Excel!