How to Remove Last 3 Characters in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Removing the last three characters in Excel is simpler than you might think. Whether you’re tweaking data or cleaning up your spreadsheet, follow these steps to make your data look just right. Here’s a quick breakdown: use the LEFT function to trim the unwanted characters.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on Removing Last 3 Characters in Excel

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to remove the last three characters from a string of text in Excel. Follow these easy steps to get it done quickly.

Step 1: Open Your Excel File

Open your Excel file that contains the data you want to modify.

Make sure the file is saved in an accessible location on your computer so you can easily return to it if needed.

Step 2: Select the Correct Cell

Click on the cell where you want the modified text to appear.

This is important because the functions we are about to use will display their output in the selected cell.

Step 3: Use the LEFT Function

Type the formula =LEFT(A1, LEN(A1)-3) and hit Enter. Replace "A1" with the cell you’re modifying.

The LEFT function will extract the desired number of characters from the left side of your text string.

Step 4: Drag the Fill Handle

If you need to apply this formula to multiple cells, drag the fill handle (small square at the bottom right corner of the cell) down or across.

Dragging the fill handle is a quick way to apply the same formula to adjacent cells without manually typing it in each one.

Step 5: Verify Your Data

Double-check the modified cells to ensure the last three characters have been removed correctly.

Make sure the data looks as expected and that the formula hasn’t affected any other parts of your spreadsheet.

After performing these steps, you’ll notice the last three characters have been removed from your selected text strings. This method is efficient and easy to replicate for multiple cells.

Tips for Removing Last 3 Characters in Excel

  • Use Keyboard Shortcuts: Familiarize yourself with Excel shortcuts to navigate and perform actions faster.
  • Double-Check Formulas: Always verify your formulas before applying them to a large data set.
  • Save Your Work: Regularly save your work to avoid losing any changes.
  • Use Absolute References: If you’re copying the formula to other cells, consider using absolute cell references.
  • Learn Other Functions: Get comfortable with other text functions in Excel like MID and RIGHT for more complex tasks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need to remove more than three characters?

Simply adjust the number in the formula. For example, =LEFT(A1, LEN(A1)-5) will remove the last five characters.

Can I use this method for numbers?

Yes, the LEFT function works for both text and numbers.

Is there a way to undo the changes?

Yes, you can use the Undo button or press Ctrl + Z to revert your changes.

Can I remove characters from the middle of the text?

Yes, but you’ll need to use a different function like MID or a combination of LEFT and RIGHT.

What if my data is in a table?

The method works the same. Just make sure to reference the correct cell in your table.


  1. Open your Excel file.
  2. Select the correct cell.
  3. Use the LEFT function.
  4. Drag the fill handle.
  5. Verify your data.


Removing the last three characters in Excel is a breeze once you know how to do it. Using the LEFT function, you can quickly clean up your data and make it look more professional. Remember to double-check your formulas and save your work frequently to avoid any mishaps. Whether you’re working with text or numbers, this method is straightforward and versatile.

For further reading, explore other Excel functions like MID and RIGHT to handle more complex text manipulation tasks. Your Excel skills will only get better with practice, so keep experimenting and learning. If you found this guide helpful, share it with colleagues or friends who might benefit from it. And don’t hesitate to revisit these steps whenever you need a quick refresher.

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