# LEFT()

Left-most characters of text

Returns the specified number of characters at the beginning of a textual value. If the number of characters to be returned is greater than the length of the text value or less than 0, returns the text value in its entirety.

## Sample usage

`LEFT("123 Maple Dr", 5)` returns `123 M`.

`LEFT("123 Maple Dr", 0)` returns blank.

### First and last initials

Initials from a first and last name:

``LEFT([First Name], 1) & LEFT([Last Name], 1)``
1. `LEFT(..., 1)` returns the first character of the specified column value.
2. `LEFT(...) & LEFT(...)` concatenates the two initials into a single text value.

Equivalent to `INITIALS(CONCATENATE([First Name], " ", [Last Name]))`.

See also: `CONCATENATE()`, `INITIALS()`

### Integer component of decimal value

The integer component of a `Decimal` value in the `Result` column:

``````NUMBER(
LEFT(
TEXT([Result]),
(FIND(".", TEXT([Result])) - 1)
)
)``````
1. `TEXT([Result])` converts the `Decimal` value to a `Text` value. The textual functions used in this example interpret non-textual values differently. Using `TEXT()` ensures the `Result` column value is interpreted the same by each function.
2. `(FIND(".", ...) - 1)` locates the character immediately preceding the decimal point.
3. `LEFT(..., ...)` extracts the integer part.
4. `NUMBER(...)` converts the extracted text to a `Number`.

Equivalent to `FLOOR([Result])`.

See also: `FIND()`, `FLOOR()`, `NUMBER()`, `TEXT()`

### Street number from street address

The first word of an address, which is typically the street number:

``LEFT([Address], (FIND(" ", [Address]) - 1))``
1. `FIND(" ", [Address])` locates the first/leftmost space in the Address column value.
2. `FIND(...) - 1` locates the character immediately preceding the first space.
3. `LEFT([Address], ...)` returns the leftmost text preceding the first space.

Equivalent to `INDEX(SPLIT([Address], " "), 1)`.

See also: `FIND()`, `INDEX()`, `SPLIT()`

## Syntax

`LEFT(text, how-many)`

• `text` - Any textual type.
• `how-many`  - Number of characters (`Number`) from `text` to return. Non-`Number` values may be accepted but may produce unexpected results.

`INITIALS()`

`MID()`

`RIGHT()`

`SUBSTITUTE()`

`TRIM()`