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Strings.Left Method

Returns a string containing a specified number of characters from the left side of a string.

Namespace:  Microsoft.VisualBasic
Assembly:  Microsoft.VisualBasic (in Microsoft.VisualBasic.dll)

public static function Left(
	str : String, 
	Length : int
) : String


Type: System.String

Required. String expression from which the leftmost characters are returned.

Type: System.Int32

Required. Integer expression. Numeric expression indicating how many characters to return. If 0, a zero-length string ("") is returned. If greater than or equal to the number of characters in str, the entire string is returned.

Return Value

Type: System.String
Returns a string containing a specified number of characters from the left side of a string.

For more detailed information, see the Visual Basic topic Left Function (Visual Basic).

To determine the number of characters in str, use the Len function. If used in a Windows Forms application, or any other class that has a Left property, you must fully qualify the function with Microsoft.VisualBasic.Left.


The LeftB function in previous versions of Visual Basic returns a string in bytes rather than characters. It is used primarily for converting strings in double-byte character set (DBCS) applications. All current Visual Basic strings are in Unicode, and LeftB is no longer supported.

This example demonstrates the use of the Left function to return a substring of a given String. In a class that has a Left property, it may be necessary to fully qualify the Left function.

Dim TestString As String = "Hello World!" 
' Returns "Hello". 
Dim subString As String = Microsoft.VisualBasic.Left(TestString, 5)

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0