example1)To extract a number of characters starting from a specified position, the Excel function MID comes into good use.
Syntax: MID(text, start_number, number_of_characters) where:

text is the string(cell# in our case) containing the characters to be extracted,

start number = the position of the first character

number of characters = number of characters
for example: =MID(A2,3,7) means that starting from the character in position#3(third charcter), get the next 7(seven) characters.
Notes:

the character in position#3 is counted as the first of 7 to be extracted,

any space/s between the names(in ColumnA) is counted as a character.
Results from ColumnC show that 7(seven) characters, starting from character#3 are extracted  space between names inclusive.
Results in ColumnB are from our first tutorial: http://nairabytes.net/computergeek/exceltutorialhowtoextractanumberofcharactersfromastring
example2) Suppose all we need is to count the number of characters, we use the LEN(length) function.
Syntax: LEN(string)
formula: = LEN(A2). See below:
Problem to solve:
If we put the above concepts together, let us assume we have a sample problem to solve as follows:
Statement: extract 3characters where the starting character position is 5less than the number of characters in each row of ColumnA.
Solution: the start_number of the MID function will be the length(LEN) of data in each cell minus5.
command: =MID(A2,(LEN(A2)5),3)
Results in ColumnE show for ex: "nde" where "n" is the 12th character(175) of cell A2