Removing the first X number of characters from a string in Excel and Google Spreadsheets

Occasionally you need to convert a specific string to remove some x number of characters at the beginning of the string. There is a very nifty function you can use for this: RIGHT()

RIGHT() returns the last X characters of a certain string, based on a number of characters you specify. Like: RIGHT(text,num_chars)

Say you want to remove the first 2 characters from a string in cell B1 you can use:


Or in more general terms:

=RIGHT(B1,LEN(B1)-[number of characters to remove])

How does this RIGHT() function work?

Say for example that in cell B1 you have a string “USmarketsize” and you want to remove the first two letters (“US”):

  • LEN(B1) returns the length of the string in cell B1: 12 letters
  • It then subtracts 2, in order to leave out the first 2 characters: 12-2=10
  • Then RIGHT() takes the last 10 letters from the string and returns: marketsize
  • In effect, this has removed the first 2 characters of the string

There you go! Let me know in the comments when you have any questions – I’d love to help out!

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