Excel text functions are useful for cleaning up text / alphanumeric values, extracting parts of cell and presenting combined results in output pages. In this article, learn the most important TEXT Functions in Excel with 6 everyday examples.
The 6 Important Text Functions
Use LEFT function to extract portion of text from left.
=LEFT(“Chandoo”, 2) will be Ch
=LEFT(A1, 4) will be first 4 letters of A1 value
Use RIGHT function to extract portion of text from right.
=RIGHT(“Chandoo”, 2) will be oo
=RIGHT(LEFT(A1, 4),2) will be two letters from the middle, starting from 3rd letter of A1.
Use MID function to extract portion of text from middle, from a specified starting point.
=MID(“Chandoo”, 5, 2) will be do
=MID(“Chandoo”, 4, 99) will be doo
LEN function measures the length of a text in number of characters.
=LEN(“Chandoo”) will be 7
=LEN(A1) will be the length of contents in A1. If A1 is empty, this will be 0.
Find the starting position of a text in another text using FIND function.
=FIND(“do”, “Chandoo”) will be 5
=FIND(“DO”, “Chandoo”) will be error as find is a case-sensitive function
=SEARCH(“DO”, “Chandoo”) will be 5.
Combine (concatenate) a bunch of values with a specified delimiter.
=TEXTJOIN(“,”,FALSE, “Chandoo”,”Jon”,”Mike”) will be Chandoo,Jon,Mike
=TEXTJOIN(” “, TRUE, A1:A10) will combine all non-empty values in range A1:A10 with space as delimiter.
The 6 Everyday Examples
Now that you know the 6 important functions, let’s see them applied in 6 everyday situations.
For the purpose of these examples, we will use below sample tabular data & structural references.
1) Gender code (M for male, F for female)
Use the formula =LEFT([@Gender], 1) to get make the gender letter code.
2) Extract first name from name
Use the formula =LEFT([@Name],FIND(” “,[@Name])-1) to get the first name.
FIND gets the position of space, left gets everything before that.
3) Extract last name from name
Try the formula =MID([@Name],FIND(” “,[@Name])+1,99) to get the last name.
FIND gets the position of space, mid gets everything after that.
4) Print name in Last name, First name format
The formula =MID([@Name],
&”, “&LEFT([@Name],FIND(” “,[@Name])-1)
will convert value in Name column to last name, first name format.
It is a combination of the formulas shown in 2 & 3.
5) Combine all male staff names in to one cell
The formula =TEXTJOIN(“, “,TRUE, IF(staff[Gender]=”Male”, staff[Name],””))
will return all male staff names in the table staff.
The IF formula generates a list of all male names or blanks. TEXTJOIN ignores the blanks (second parameter is TRUE) and combines the values with a comma as separator.
6) Word count of a sentence
Assuming you have sentence in cell D6, the formula
will tell you its word count.
The SUBSTITUTE formula removes any spaces (by subbing them with nothing) and LEN is used to measure the length.
Download the sample file
Important Text Functions in Excel Video
If you want a video guide that explains these functions in detail, check it out below or find it on my YouTube channel.
Need a text function? Tell me in comments
Are you trying to make formula to get something done with text in Excel? Let me know in comments what you need and I will try to help.
Also, if you have a favorite Excel text formula trick or patterns, share it so we all learn from each other.