# How To Remove Text In Excel With A Formula How to Remove First 4 Characters in Excel

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## How to Remove First 4 Characters in Excel

You may have a workbook that contains text but you only want to extract some words from it. For example, you may only want to extract the first word from a cell that contains a person’s first and last name. In this tutorial I will show you how to convert the text and in particular, I will show you the best ways to remove the first 4 letters in Excel using the following functions:

1) Excel Work OK

2) MID function for Excel

3) Excel CHANGE Function

Using the Excel function FIT

In this example I want to remove the first 4 characters from the postcode CV36 7BL and leave the last 3 characters. Let’s assume that the postal code is in cell A2 in the Excel spreadsheet. The formula in cell B2 would be:

=OK(A2,LEN(A2)-4)

So how does this formula work? Let’s break this down to understand how it works.

GOOD work

The OK function outputs the given number of operators to the right of the specified text. Example =RIGHT(“banana”,4) will lead to “anas”

LEN function

The LEN function returns the length of a given string. For example =LEN(“apples”) will result in 6 as there are 6 characters in the string “apples”.

RIGHT(A2,LEN(A2)

This part of the formula will return 8. In the first argument of the OK function you must specify which text to use. In this example it is cell A2 ie the postal code. In the second dialog you need to specify the number of words you want to extract. In this discussion I use the LEN function which returns the number of 8 characters for the postcode CV36 7BL. The space between CV36 and 7BL counts as a character. The formula =RIGHT(A2,LEN(A2) translates to =RIGHT(A2,8) which returns CV36 7BL.

RIGHT(A2,LEN(A2)-4)

I want to remove the first 4 terms so I include -4 at the end of the formula. LEN (A2)-4 then returns 4 (8-4 = 4).

If I simplify this further the function RIGHT is =RIGHT(A2,4) and it returns CV36.

How do you remove the First character of the nth String?

If you want to remove the first nth character from the string you just change the -4 at the end of the formula to whatever number of operators you want to remove. For example, if you want to remove the first 3 operators of a string then simply change -4 to -3. so the formula becomes =RIGHT(A2,LEN(A2)-3). If you want to remove the first 2 characters then change it to 2 so it becomes =RIGHT(A2,LEN(A2)-2) and so on.

Using the Excel MID Function

Another way to remove the first 4 characters from postcode CV36 7BL is to use the Excel MID function. Assume also that the postal code is in cell A2 and the formula is in cell B2.

Formula now =MID(A2,5,LEN(A2))

So how does this formula work? I will explain each part of the MID formula.

MID function

The Excel MID function extracts the middle of text based on a specified number of characters. For example, =MID(“banana”,3,2) returns “na”. The first argument is a text string or cell reference that you want to extract from. The second argument is the first character you want to output. The third argument is the number of characters you want to output.

=MID(A2,5

This part of the formula says start at the fifth character of the postcode CV36 7BL. This means it will start at a space as the space is the fifth character from the left.

LEN(A2)

The LEN function returns the number of 8 characters for the postcode CV36 7BL.

=MID(A2,5,LEN(A2))

If you simplify this formula the MID function is =MID(A2,5,8). It starts with a space and outputs 8 characters together. Because there are only 3 characters after the space then it outputs 7BL.

How do you remove the First character of the nth String?

If you want to remove the first letter nth then just add 1 to the MID functions second argument. For example if I want to remove the first 3 employees then I enter 4 in the MID jobs second argument so that it is correct. =MID(A2,4,LEN(A2)). If I want to remove the first 2 employees just enter 3 in the second argument so that it is correct =MID(A2,3,LEN(A2)).

Using the Excel REPLACE Function

Moving on to the topic of extracting the first 4 characters of the postcode CV36 7BL I will now show you how to do this using the Excel REPLACE function. Also assume that the postal code is in cell A2 and the formula is in cell B2.

The formula in cell B2 is now = CHANGE(A2,1,4,””)

Now I will show you how this formula works.

The REPLACE Function

The REPLACE function replaces a group of workers in a list with another group of workers. The first argument to the function change is the string or cell you want to change the function for, that is, the postal code in cell A2. The second argument is a placeholder for the old text to begin replacing the words. The third argument is the number of characters you want to replace the old text with. The fourth argument is the new staff you want to replace the old text with.

REPLACE(A2,1,4,””)

The first argument is the postal code in cell A2. The second argument is the first number. I want to start at the beginning to enter 1. The third argument is 4 as I want to return the first 4 words with new text. The last argument is double quotation marks which means the empty string. I want to replace the first 4 operators with empty strings so that I am left with the last 3 characters.

How do you remove the First character of the nth String?

To remove the first nth employee simply return the third argument with the number of employees you want to remove. For example, if you want to remove the first 3 workers just change the third argument to 3 so that it is = CHANGE(A2,1,3,””).

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