How to Use the MID Function in Microsoft Excel

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In Brief...

You can enable the MID function with just a few simple steps when you want to return a specific amount of characters from a string of text.

This feature works the same in all modern versions of Microsoft Excel: 2010, 2013, and 2016.


  1. On the Formulas tab, in the Function Library group, click the Insert Function command.
    Insert Function

  2. In the Insert Function dialog box:
    1. Search on "MID" or, in the Or select a category drop-down box, select Text.
    2. Under Select a function, select MID.
    3. Click OK.
      Insert Function Dialog Box

  3. In the Function Arguments dialog box:
    1. In the Text field, enter the text characters that you wish to return.
    2. In the Start_num field, enter the position of the first character that you wish to extract.
    3. In the Num_Chars field, enter the number of characters you want to return.
    4. Click OK.
      Function Arguments Dialog Box

Author: Dave Dunn

Dave Dunn joined Webucator as Chief Operating Officer in early 2009. He has served as a CFO and COO for numerous small and medium-sized companies, including Summit Software Company, Insight Research Group, Avalon Consulting, and HealthcareOne. He has expertise in business development, financial management, marketing and human resources and particularly enjoys working with rapidly growing companies.

Dave received his Bachelor of Arts from Hamilton College and his MBA from Syracuse University. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Montessori School of Syracuse since 2001.