Left, Left, Left, Right, Left

It is not always possible to use the great Text to Columns tool. (Missed that post? Read it here.) You may need to use the LEFT function in Excel to ‘peel off’ part of a data entry. Remember, it is easy to do for a couple of entries. However, if you have 100s of entries, or thousands, you need to automate the process.

Here’s the situation. You receive a list extracted from a database, or from a website. The entries look like this:

1The Name of a Book

You need to separate the number from the rest of the text. You can’t use Text to Columns, because there is no separating character between the two  elements. Enter the LEFT function.

I have demonstrated how to use the LEFT function in the video below. This will solve half of the problem. Check back on Monday to learn how to use the RIGHT function.

Until then, keep soaring…