I am trying to remove certain characters or only display certain characters within a list. The source field is called [Issue Status] and created a calculated column with the following:

=LEFT([Issue Status],3) 

However, this error appears: "The formula contains a syntax error or is not supported. " Even when I try this following, still get the same error message!

=LEFT([Issue Status],LEN([Issue Status])-3)

Info: the issue status contains 6 characters in total. However, the length of this may vary depending on other used words.

Whereas using the simple =LEFT([Issue Statys]) works and shows only the 1st character. I am confused and now sure how to get this resolved.


The source type of the source column is [Choice] but I also tried it with another source column type [Single Line aka. Text]. and no luck.

  • What is the column type of the source column?
    – Jerry_MSFT
    Jan 12, 2021 at 9:47
  • @Jerry_MSFT I was hopping it had to do something with the column type but nope. I just used another source column [Title] where the content type is Single line of Text. None of the above forumlas work apart from =LEFT([Title]) which displays only the first character.
    – Bucki
    Jan 12, 2021 at 10:01
  • 1
    @Bucki Depending on your regional settings for the site you might have to use semicolon (;) instead of colon (,). Jan 12, 2021 at 10:08
  • @Christoffer hahaaaaaaaaaa unbelieveable! the ; has worked out. Wow, never knew that the regional settings does make a change.
    – Bucki
    Jan 12, 2021 at 10:16

1 Answer 1


Thanks to @Christoffer

Because the regional settings is set to Germany, the formula did not work. Instead of the , comma the semmycolon ; must be used.

=LEFT([Issue Status];3) 

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