# Excel Tutorial: how to extract a number of characters from a string

**example-1)** Suppose we want to extract the first three letters of each string of the above Column-A, and suppose we want to start the extraction from the left, we use the LEFT Excel function:

**formula:** =LEFT(A2,3) means: get the first 3 characters starting from the LEFT of cell A2.

Note the formula in use (IN RED) below. Thus we are able to extract the first 3-characters from each cell in Column-A

The above example also applies to get a number of characters from the right, using the RIGHT function, for example: **=RIGHT(A2,3)**