Left Function (Visual Basic)

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

Public Shared Function Left( _
   ByVal str As String, _
   ByVal Length As Integer _
) As String


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

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


Exception type

Error number




Length < 0.

See the "Error number" column if you are upgrading Visual Basic 6.0 applications that use unstructured error handling. (You can compare the error number against the Number Property (Err Object).) However, when possible, you should consider replacing such error control with Structured Exception Handling Overview for 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 earlier versions of Visual Basic returns a string in bytes instead of characters. It is primarily used 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, you may have to fully qualify the Left function.

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




Assembly: Visual Basic Runtime Library (in Microsoft.VisualBasic.dll)

See Also


Programming Element Support Changes Summary


String Manipulation Summary

Right Function (Visual Basic)

Len Function (Visual Basic)

Mid Function (Visual Basic)