The Excel LEFT function returns a specified number of characters from the start (left) of a text string.
text = the text string
num_chars = [optional] the number of characters to return from the start (left) of the string (if blank, the default is 1 character)
The LEFT function returns a text string with the specified number of characters as defined by the num_chars. If the num_chars is left blank, then 1 character will be returned.
In the example above the LEFT function returns two characters, defined by num_char = 2, from the text in cell F6, “Graduate”.
The result returned is “Gr”.