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Use formulas to edit, correct, and proofread text

Using LEFT function

Callout 1 Formula in the worksheet.
Callout 2 Formula result in the worksheet.

With three different pieces of information in each cell, column A is not really convenient to use. To separate the order IDs into a column containing just the order IDs, you would type this formula in cell B2:

=LEFT(A2,5)

The LEFT function finds and displays the first characters in a cell, up to a number that you specify. In this example, the order IDs contain 5 characters, so LEFT looks in cell A2 for the first five characters from the left, which it then displays in cell B2.

For the complete group of order IDs, you would copy the formula down the column. Then, if you had no further need for the copied formulas, you could delete them, leaving the results in the column. (You learned how to do that in the practice session for the previous lesson.)

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