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Returns a specified number of characters from a character expression, starting with the leftmost character.

LEFT(cExpression, nExpression)



Specifies the character expression that LEFT(В ) returns characters from.

Specifies the number of characters returned from the character expression. If nExpression is greater than the length of cExpression, all of the character expression is returned. If nExpression is negative or 0, LEFT(В ) returns an empty string. LEFT(В ) uses a starting position of 1 and is identical to SUBSTR(В ).

Return Value

Character. LEFT(В ) returns a character string.


The following example uses two different ways to display the string result from the LEFT(В ) function, which returns the first four letters in the string, "Redmond, WA":

В Copy Code
? LEFT('Redmond, WA', 4)          && Displays the string, Redm.
myString = LEFT('Redmond, WA', 4) && Stores result in myString.
? myString                        && Displays result in myString.

For more information, see ? | ?? Command.

See Also

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