In this Article

*This tutorial will demonstrate how to remove the first character(s) from the left from a string of text in Excel and Google Sheets.*

## REPLACE Function

To remove characters from the left of a cell, we can use the REPLACE function to replace the first characters with an empty string.

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=REPLACE(B3,1,C3,"") |

## MID Function

We can also remove characters from the left of a cell by using the MID Function to return all the characters to the right of a specific position in a cell, for example, to the right of a space. We would use the SEARCH Function to find the space and then the MID Function to return the characters to the right of that space.

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=MID(B3, SEARCH(" ", B3)+1, 999) |

We will walkthrough this below.

## SEARCH Function – Find the Space in a Cell

First, we used the SEARCH Function to find the position of the space between the first and last names.

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=SEARCH(" ", B3) |

We then add one onto the value returned by this formula to get the starting position of the last name.

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=SEARCH(" ",B3)+1 |

### MID Function (Last Name)

Next we use the MID Function to return all the characters after the space plus 1 (the last name)

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=MID(B3, C3+1, 999) |

Combining these 2 functions gives us the original formula for the last name.

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=MID(B3, SEARCH(B3, " ")+1, 999) |

## RIGHT FUNCTION

We can also remove characters from the left of a cell by using the RIGHT Function to return a certain number of characters from the right. We use the LEN Function to count how many characters are in the cell, allowing us to remove n (ex. 1) characters from the left:

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=RIGHT(B3,LEN(B3)-C3) |

We will walkthrough this below.

## LEN Function – Count Characters in a Cell

First, we will use the LEN Function to count the number of characters in the cell:

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=LEN(B3) |

In the next section, we will use the RIGHT function to trim off a certain number of characters from the left.

## RIGHT Function

The RIGHT Function returns a certain number of characters from the right side of a cell. For the number of characters, we will use the result of the LEN Function minus the number of characters to remove (ex. 1):

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=RIGHT(B3, D3-C3) |

Combining these functions yields the original formula.

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=RIGHT(B3,LEN(B3)-C3) |

## Remove First Character(s) From Left in Google Sheets

All the examples explained above work the same in Google sheets as they do in Excel.