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Excel MID Function

What is the Excel MID Function?

The MID function on Excel is used to extract a specified number of characters from inside a supplied text string. This function can be used when you want to extract a text from within a text string, based on length and location.






  • text – The text that would be subjected to extraction.
  • cell – the cell where the string is located. e.g. A5
  • start_num – This is the position of the first character to extract (i.e. Where extraction would start from)
  • num_chars – This is the number of characters to extract.

The Excel MID Function will return the specified number of characters from a text string, starting at “start_num” and continuing through “start_num + num_chars”.


How to use the Excel MID Function to extract characters from a string of words.

The following steps should be taken;

  1. Open the Excel spreadsheet where you want to make use the MID function.

Figure 1. Sample spreadsheet for MID Function

  1. Click on the cell where you want the MID function to place the extracted characters (F3)

Figure 2. Click on the cell to extract char to

  1. To extract “Excel” from the word “Excellent”. Insert the following formula into the box; =MID(C3,1,5).

Figure 3. Insert the formula

  1. Press Enter. The string “Excel” should be displayed in the F3 cell

Figure 4. Press ENTER to extract

  1. For the next example; extract “ren of me” from the string of words “Children of me”. Use the formula; =MID(C4,6,9).

Figure 5. 2nd example extract MID function

  1. For the last example; extract “cent” from the word “Placenta”. Use the formula; =MID(C5,4,4).

Figure 6. 3rd example extract MID function


  • From step 3,we used the formula =MID(C3,1,5). This is how it worked. C3 is where the string “Excellent” is placed. start_num is specified as 1 (which is the position of letter ‘E’, where the extraction started from). 5 characters were extracted and that was how we came about ‘Excel’ .
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