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.