Sometimes, it’s helpful to extract part of a string of characters into a separate cell. This is easy to do. Let’s learn **how to find a substring in Microsoft Excel.**

## How to Find Substrings in Excel

Imagine you have a column of seven-digit numbers. These are order numbers, and different parts of the string represent different values. The first two digits are **country codes.** The middle three are **customer codes.** The last two are **product ID numbers.** You want to break out each of these into its own column.

For country codes, click into cell **B2**. Type **=**, which tells Excel that you’re beginning a formula. Then, type **LEFT**. This tells Excel that you want to pull from the left side of the string. Then, type **(**. So far, your formula is:

=LEFT(

Next, click into cell **A2.** This is the cell reference. Now Excel knows to look at the left side of the value in cell **A2.** Type a comma. Then, you need to tell Excel how many characters to pull from the referenced value. Here, we want the first two characters, so type **2**, then close with **)**. Your formula is:

=LEFT(A2,2)

Hit **Enter**, and you’ll see Excel pull the first two numbers from the value in cell **A2,** and place them in cell **B2.**

To find the customer codes, in cell **C2,** start by typing:

=MID(A2,

Here, we want the middle three digits. These start on the third number in the sequence, so type **3,. **Finally, Excel asks for how many values to return. Here, we want 3, so type 3), completing your formula as:

=MID(A2,3,3)

Hit **Enter** again, and you’ll see the middle three values in cell **C2.**

Finally, in cell **D2**, you’ll want to find the two rightmost values. The formula here is:

=RIGHT(A2,2)

Once again, pressing **Enter** returns the two values on the right side.

Click and drag the lower right corner of each cell containing a formula to fill in the rest of your table. This shows how using substring formulas saves you time and work when you’re analyzing data in Excel.