Google Sheets LEFTB Function

This post will guide you how to use Google Sheets LEFTB function with syntax and examples.


The Google Sheets LEFTB function returns a substring (a specified number of the bytes) from a text string, starting from the left portion.

The LEFTB function can be used to extract the left portion of a string up to a certain number of bytes in google sheets.

The LEFTB function is a build-in function in Google Sheets and it is categorized as a Text Function.


The syntax of the LEFTB function is as below:

= LEFTB (text,[num_of_bytes])

Where the LEFTB function arguments are:

  • Text -This is a required argument. The text string that you want to extract from.
  • num_of_bytes -This is an optional argument. It will specify the number of bytes that you want to extract from Text string.


  • The num_of_bytes value must be greater than or equal to zero. If num_of_bytes value is greater that the length of text string, it will return all of text string. If num_of_bytes value is omitted, it is set to be 1 by default.
  • If NUM_of_bytes value equal to 0, it will cause LEFT function to extract the empty string.
  • If text string has only single bytes characters and the LEFTB function returns the same value as LEFT function.

Google Sheets LEFTB Function Examples

The below examples will show you how to use google sheets LEFTB Text function to extract the leftmost substring from a text string.

#1 To extract the leftmost 4 bytes in the B1 cell, just using formula:


google sheets leftb function

#2 If you do not provide num_of_bytes argument, it will use the default value as 1, using the following formula:


google sheets leftb function

#3 If Num_chars exceeds the text string length, the LEFTB function will return the entire string:


google sheets leftb function

#4 If Text value is a numeric value, and the LEFTB function will return a text value:


google sheets leftb function


You can use the LEFTB function to extract substring from the left side of a text string in Google Sheets. And you can also use another function called RIGHT function to extract a substring starting from the right side of the text string. And if you wish to extract a substring starting from the middle position of text string, you can use the MIDB function.

Related Functions

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    The Google Sheets FIND function returns the position of the first text string (sub string) within another text string.The syntax of the FIND function is as below:= FIND(find_text, within_text,[start_num]) …