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LEFT Function (DAX)

Owen Duncan|Last Updated: 10/5/2018
1 Contributor

Returns the specified number of characters from the start of a text string.


LEFT(<text>, <num_chars>)  


textThe text string containing the characters you want to extract, or a reference to a column that contains text.
num_chars(optional) The number of characters you want LEFT to extract; if omitted, 1.

Property Value/Return Value

A text string.


Whereas Microsoft Excel contains different functions for working with text in single-byte and double-byte character languages, DAX works with Unicode and stores all characters as the same length; therefore, a single function is enough.

This DAX function may return different results when used in a model that is deployed and then queried in DirectQuery mode. For more information about semantic differences in DirectQuery mode, see


The following example returns the first five characters of the company name in the column [ResellerName] and the first five letters of the geographical code in the column [GeographyKey] and concatenates them, to create an identifier.


If the num_chars argument is a number that is larger than the number of characters available, the function returns the maximum characters available and does not raise an error. For example, the column [GeographyKey] contains numbers such as 1, 12 and 311; therefore the result also has variable length.

See Also

Text Functions (DAX)

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