### How it works

The Instruction operation "left" returns a specified number of characters from the left side of the **first** input string. Subsequent input(s) determine the number of characters "n".

If the specified number of characters is **negative** then the string returned is the original string with the specified number of characters removed from the **end**. Or another way to look at it is; that a "-n" left value, is in effect a "n" right value, so simple arithmetics.

### "Left" Examples

#### Example 1: Positive "n"

The example below has the input value of 4, so it returns "abcd" as they are the first four characters.

```
<instruction operation="left">
<input value="abcdefghijk" />
<input value="4" />
</instruction>
```

abcd

#### Example 2: Negative "n"

The example below has the input value of -4, so it removes "hijk" and returns "abcdgh". This is equivalent to a positive value of "4" for the right operation.

```
<instruction operation="left">
<input value="abcdefghijk" />
<input value="-4" />
</instruction>
```

abcdefg

#### Example 3: Multiple inputs

The example below has two numerical inputs after our ten letter string, the first with value 6 and the second with the negative value of -2, as they are processed consecutively, this becomes 4 as (6 - 2 = 4), so we have the same result as in example 1 "abcd". A -6 right operation would return the same result.

```
<instruction operation="left">
<input value="abcdefghijk" />
<input value="6" />
<input value="-2" />
</instruction>
```

abcd

Last Modified: Thu, 15 Jan 2015