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Excel MID Function

Excel MID function

The Excel MID function extracts a given number of characters from the middle of a supplied text string. For example, =MID("apple",2,3) returns "ppl".

Extract text from inside a string
Return value 
The characters extracted.
=MID (text, start_num, num_chars)
  • text - The text to extract from.
  • start_num - The location of the first character to extract.
  • num_chars - The number of characters to extract.
Usage notes 

The MID function extracts a given number of characters from the middle of a supplied text string. MID takes three arguments, all of which are required. The first argument, text, is the text string to start with. The second argument, start_num, is the position of the first character to extract. The third argument, num_chars, is the number of characters to extract. If num_chars is greater than the number of characters available, MID returns all remaining characters.


The formula below returns 3 characters starting at the 5th character:

=MID("The cat in the hat",5,3) // returns "cat"

This formula will extract 3 characters starting at character 16:

=MID("The cat in the hat",16,3) // returns "hat"

If num_chars is greater than remaining characters, MID will all remaining characters:

=MID("apple",3,100) // returns "ple"

MID can extract text from numbers, but the result is text:

=MID(12348,3,4) // returns "348" as text

Related functions

Use the MID function to extract from the middle of text. Use the LEFT function to extract text from the left side of a text string and the RIGHT function to extract text starting from the right side of text. The LEN function returns the length of text as a count of characters. Use FIND or SEARCH to locate an unknown start position.


  • num_chars is optional and defaults to 1.
  • MID will extract text from numeric values, but the result is text
  • Number formatting is not counted or extracted.

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