Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Dissecting a String.

Dissecting a String

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 23, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


1

If you have used BASIC before, you will be right at home with the string functions provided by VBA. The following table details the most common string functions and what they return.

Function Comments
Left(Source, Count) Returns the left Count characters of Source text.
Mid(Source, Start [, Count]) Returns the portion of Source text beginning with the Start character. If Count is supplied, then the result is limited to that many characters.
Right(Source, Count) Returns the right Count characters of Source text.

Remember that these are VBA functions, not worksheet functions. Excel provides worksheet functions that do largely the same things, but those functions place different requirements on which parameters are required and which are optional.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12574) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Dissecting a String.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Aligning Paragraphs in a Macro

Using a macro to format your document (or portions of your document) is not all that uncommon. If you want your macro to ...

Discover More

DOS From Macros

Need to run a DOS command from within one of your macros? The answer is the Shell command, described in this tip.

Discover More

Removing Filters and Unhiding Rows and Columns on Multiple Worksheets

Need to remove filters and display all rows and columns in all your worksheets? It is not easy to do manually, but with a ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Replacing Some Formulas with the Formula Results

Macros are often used to process the data stored in a worksheet. Some of these processing needs can be pretty specific to ...

Discover More

Default Worksheet when Opening

When opening a workbook, you may want to make sure that a particular worksheet is always displayed first. The only way to ...

Discover More

Selecting a Cell in the Current Row

Macros often need to select different cells in a worksheet. Here's how you can use macro commands to change which cell is ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five minus 0?

2018-03-10 10:43:26

Brian L.

One of my favorites is the SPLIT function -- very useful for break up strings into component parts, based on a specified delimiter. See https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/6x627e5f(v=vs.90).aspx ("archived" article, but has good examples).


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.