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An Introduction to Text Functions

Strings and Characters

In a spreadsheet, individual letters are known as characters, and combinations of letters (words) are referred to as strings.

For example, if a cell contains a value of “some text,” then this is known as a string made up of 9 characters. The space between the word “some” and the word “text” is also considered a character.

Text Functions

There are many different spreadsheet functions that work with characters and strings. In this article, we will be covering the following text functions.

  • CONCATENATE
  • LEFT
  • RIGHT
  • MID
  • LEN
  • FIND
  • SUBSTITUTE

CONCATENATE

The CONCATENATE function combines two or more separate strings into one string.

Here is an example. The function below joins the two strings together into one.

LEFT

The LEFT function extracts a certain number of characters from the left side of a string.

The LEFT function accepts two arguments. The first argument is the string, and the second is the number of characters to be extracted from the left side of that string.

Here is an example. The function below extracts the first four letters from the original string.

RIGHT

The RIGHT function extracts a certain number of characters from the right side of a string.

The RIGHT function accepts two arguments. The first argument is the string, and the second is the number of characters to be extracted from the right side of that string.

Here is an example. The function below extracts the last four letters from the right side of the original string.

MID

The MID function extracts a certain number of characters from the middle of a string.

The MID function accepts three arguments. The first argument is the original string, the second is the starting position, and the third is how many characters to extract.

Here is an example. The function below extracts four letters starting at position two within the original string.

LEN

The LEN function returns the length of a string.

For example, the function below returns the length of the string.

Note that the space counts as a character and contributes to the overall length of the string.

FIND

The FIND function looks for a substring within the original string and returns its position.

Here is an example. The function below looks for the substring “te” and returns its position with the original string.

SUBSTITUTE

The SUBSTITUTE function replaces part or all of a string with a new string.

Here is an example. The substring “some” is replaced with “new” using the SUBSTITUTE function below.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I didn’t even know that SUBSTITUTE was a thing! That’s going to be so helpful! I’d love to see another post about some of these and how we would use it practically in some examples!

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