Excel MID Function – Formula, Examples, How to Use?

The MID formula in Excel is like a magic tool that helps you take out a part of a big word or sentence that you want to see.

Imagine you have a big word like “banana” and you just want to see the middle part “nan”, MID formula can help you do that. Just like you cut the middle part of banana to see what it is.

It’s like a magnifying glass that helps you see a small part of a big thing.

It takes three things, the big word or sentence, a starting point where you want to start taking out the part, and the number of letters you want to take out. With these three things, it helps you see the part you want to see.

The MID function in Excel is a powerful tool that allows you to extract a specific portion of a text string. In this blog, we will go over how to use the MID function with an example.






City Name




New York


New Y






New Delhi







In the above table, Column A contains the city names, Column B contains the formulas used to extract a portion of the city names, and Column C contains the final output or extracted text.

The syntax for the MID function is as follows:

=MID(text, start_num, num_chars)

The “text” argument is the cell or range of cells that contains the text that you want to extract a portion of.

The “start_num” argument is the starting position of the text that you want to extract.

The “num_chars” argument is the number of characters that you want to extract.

For example, in Row 2 of the table, the formula used is =MID(A2,1,5). This means that we are extracting the first 5 characters of the text in cell A2, which is “New York”. The final output in Column C is “New Y”.

As you can see, the MID function is a useful tool for extracting a specific portion of a text string. It can be used to extract characters from the middle of a text string, as well as from the beginning or end. By understanding the syntax and how to use the function, you can easily extract the specific text you need from a cell or range of cells in Excel.

Use cases of MID formula in Excel:

  1. Extracting a part of a text string: One of the most common use cases of the MID formula is to extract a part of a text string. For example, extracting the first three characters of a product code, or extracting the last four digits of a phone number. This can be useful for data cleaning, or for creating custom labels for data visualization.
  2. Modifying a text string: The MID formula can also be used to modify a text string by replacing a certain part of it. For example, replacing a specific set of characters in a product code or phone number.

In all of these cases, the MID formula can be used to extract or modify specific parts of a text string, which can help you to better organize, analyze, and present your data.

Top mistakes users make while using MID formula in Excel:

  1. Incorrect start position: Mistake that users make is using an incorrect start position. The MID formula requires a start position to be specified, so if an incorrect position is used, the formula may not return the expected output.
  2. Incorrect number of characters: Users may also make a mistake of specifying an incorrect number of characters to be extracted by the formula, resulting in an unexpected output.
  3. Not accounting for spaces or special characters: The MID formula accounts for spaces or special characters in the text string, so if these are present, they will be included in the output. This can lead to unexpected results and can make the data harder to interpret.

By keeping these common mistakes in mind and double-checking your formula inputs, you can help ensure that your MID formula returns the expected output and helps you effectively analyze and present your data.

Mention the alternative(s) to MID formula in Excel:

  1. LEFT and RIGHT Formulas: LEFT formula can be used to extract a certain number of characters from the beginning of a text string, while RIGHT formula can be used to extract a certain number of characters from the end of a text string.
  2. Text to Columns: Text to Columns feature in Excel can be used to split a text string into multiple columns based on a delimiter. This can be useful for separating parts of a text string into separate cells, allowing for easier analysis and manipulation.
  3. FIND and SEARCH Formulas: FIND and SEARCH formulas can be used to find the position of a specific character or text within a string, which can then be used in conjunction with other formulas (such as LEFT, RIGHT, or MID) to extract or modify parts of the text string.

All these formulas and feature can be used as an alternative to the MID formula, depending on the specific requirements of the task at hand.


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