The **MID** function in Excel allows you to extract a specific number of characters from a string based on a starting position on the left side of the string.

However, sometimes you want to extract middle characters based on a specific starting and ending character.

You can use the **MID** function combined with the **FIND** function to do so:

=MID(A2,FIND("char1",A2)+2,FIND("char2",A2,10)-FIND("char1",A2)-2)

This particular formula extracts every character in the string in cell **A2** between the characters **char1** and **char2**.

The following example shows how to use this formula in practice.

**Example: MID Function for Variable Length Strings in Excel**

Suppose we have the following list of websites URL’s:

Suppose we would like to extract only the website name between the double forward slashes (**//**) and the **.com** near the end of the URL.

We can use the following formula to do so:

=MID(A2,FIND("//",A2)+2,FIND(".com",A2,10)-FIND("//",A2)-2)

The following screenshot shows how to use this formula in practice:

Column B now displays only the characters in the website name between the double slashes **//** and the **.com** near the end of the name.

Note that this formula works even though the length of each website name is not the same.

Without using the **FIND** function, the **MID** function alone would not be able to perform this task.

**Additional Resources**

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Excel:

Excel: A Formula for MID From Right

Excel: A Formula for “If Not Empty”

Excel: How to Ignore Blank Cells When Using Formulas