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Finding characters in Excel cells

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Q. How can I return characters to the left of a dash in an Excel cell using the LEFT function? I don’t always know what position it will be in.

A. The LEFT function has two arguments: The cell reference you want the function to evaluate and the number of characters to return. However, if you don’t know how many characters to return, you need a second function, FIND. So, in this example, using FIND we know the location of the dash. Subtract 1 from this number and we have the number of characters to return on the left.

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