Shorten contents of spreadsheet cells

I have a spreadsheet file with a list of species’ Latin names. I want to automatically create abbreviations for each species, by shortening both the genus and specific epithet to a certain number of characters. Here’s how to do it.

Let’s say I have these species:


When I paste them in Gnumeric, I select the underscore “_”, as a custom separator in the Text Import Configuration box. This places the two parts of the names into individual columns (“A” and “B”):

I want to take the first 3 characters of “A” and the first 4 characters of “B”, to make the abbreviation in column “C”, connected by an underscore. This is done in the following way, using the LEFT function:


Finally, to “restore” the two parts of the full latin name in a single column “D”, I used:


That’s it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s