With Extract Characters, you can easily extract the first, middle or last characters of cell contents.
To use it, just, with a range of cells selected, run the function and choose the appropriate options on the form like the one shown below.
There is a special option “Add apostrophe to front of numbers”. With this option selected, in case the extracted content is a number, an apostrophe will be added automatically to the front of the number.
In an Excel spreadsheet, when a cell contains a number and an apostrophe is placed in front that number, for example ’01 (“01” is a numeric expression, and an apostrophe is entered in front of “01”), the numeric expression will be treated by Excel as text string. Therefore, normally, when you enter “01” into a cell, Excel turns it into “1” because “01” = “1”. However, if an apostrophe is placed in front of “01”, Excel won’t touch it and displays “01”.
The “Add apostrophe to front of numbers” option is especially useful when extracting codes such as area codes with leading zeros.