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Summary

To extract the first 3 characters from a cell in Excel, use the formula =LEFT(E1,3).
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This formula will return the first 3 characters from the cell specified (E1 in this example). Dragging the fill handle will allow the formula to be applied to a range of cells.
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This formula can also be used to extract the last n characters from a string.

According to

Summary
string
Select a blank cell, here I select the Cell G1, and type this formula =LEFT(E1,3) (E1 is the cell you want to extract the first 3 characters from), press Enter button, and drag fill handle to the range you want. Then you see the first 3 characters are extracted.

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