Definition and Syntax
• LEFT delivers the leftmost character or characters in a text string. RIGHT does the same thing from the right-hand side.
• LEFT(text,number of characters)
• MID delivers the characters starting from a position you specify.
• MID(text,starting position,number of characters)
How to Use It
• Suppose the binding calculations on your worksheet are labeled 3 pockets, 4 pockets and so forth, starting with cell A22. The number of pockets is right there in the label, but it’s part of a longer text string. We can use LEFT to pluck out of the first two characters, which will cover us to 99 pockets. LEFT(A22,2) will return the first two characters to the left, which will be 3 and a space. If the label was “saddle stitch 6 pockets,” MID(A22,15,2) would deliver 6 and a space.
• The result, however, isn’t a number, but text. Convert it to a number by wrapping the VALUE function around it: =VALUE(LEFT(A22,2)).
When to Use It
• It’s wise to make formulas identical so you can copy them without having to amend them for particular instances. So a binding calculation area shouldn’t have IF statements testing each pocket count on each row, as in IF(n.pockets=3, and IF(n.pockets=4, etc. Using VALUE plus LEFT allows a situational test. Here’s an IF function you can copy row after row to apply a price when the signature count matches a particular line in the table:=IF(n.pockets=VALUE(LEFT(cellInThisRow,2)),priceCalculation,0)