Excel: How to Remove First 3 Characters from String

Often you may want to remove the first 3 characters from a string in Excel.

You can use the RIGHT function combined with the LEN function to do so:


This particular formula removes the first 3 characters from the string in cell A2.

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

Example: Remove First 3 Characters from String in Excel

Suppose we have the following list of basketball team names:

Suppose we would like to remove the first three characters from each team name.

We can type the following formula into cell B2 to do so:


We can then click and drag this formula down to each remaining cell in column B:

Excel remove first 3 characters from string

Column B now displays the team names in column A with the first three characters removed from each team name.

How This Formula Works

The RIGHT() function in Excel extracts a specific number of characters from the right side of a string.

The LEN() function in Excel is used to find the length of a string.

Thus, our formula tells Excel to extract the amount of characters equal to the length of the string minus three characters.

Thus, our formula displays the entire string with the first three characters removed.

Note: Blank spaces at the start of a string count as characters. You may need to first remove blank spaces to get your desired result.

Additional Resources

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

Excel: How to Remove Specific Text from Cells
Excel: A Formula for MID From Right
Excel: How to Use MID Function for Variable Length Strings

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