At times, you may want to strip first few characters of a word in Excel. For example, consider the following data that shows last names of some random people

If you just need the first 10 characters of the last names, you can employ the Excel formula **LEFT**, as shown below.

The formula is *=**LEFT(text, number of characters)*

After you typed in the formula and pressed Enter, you should see the name HEPPENHEIMER truncated to HEPPENHEIM.

Once your results look good, simply copy the cell (in our case B2) and paste it in all other cells where you need the formula executed. (Excel automatically updates the cell number in the formula as required).