How to truncate text in Excel

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Do you have text data in Excel that you want to truncate? Well, in most cases, Excel users deal with text that needs to be shortened in order to be displayed the easy it should be. For you to do this, you have to learn how to use the trunc function. In this post, we shall look at easy steps to truncate a cell.

Step 1: Prepare your data sheet

The first thing that you need to do in order to truncate characters is to have the data in a worksheet. If you have a spreadsheet with the data, you can simply double-click on it to open. But if you do not have it, then you will have to enter it into a sheet.

If you want to truncate characters for a whole column, you need to ensure that you have all the text string to truncate in one column.

Step 2: Select cell/column where you want the truncated text string to appear

The next thing is to have a cell where you will have the truncated text string. Note that if you are doing this for a whole column, then you will also have to prepare a whole column to display the truncated text.

Figure 1: Truncating text

Step 3: Type the RIGHT or LEFT truncating formula in the target cell

The next thing we need to do is to type the truncation formula in the cell where we want our first result to appear. Note that unlike how we truncate numbers, we use the LEFT or RIGHT formula to truncate text strings.

We have the formula below in cell C2;

=LEFT (B6783,7)


  • B6783 refers to the target cell to truncate and 7 refers to the number of characters we want to remain with after truncation. After truncating, we shall have the first 7 characters displayed.

We can also use the RIGHT function to truncate text. When we use the RIGHT function, we shall only have the last characters as specified in the formula displayed.

For example, if we had the following formula in the above example, we shall have the last 7 characters displayed.

=RIGHT (B6783, 7)