Fragment texts starting with "..."

Hi, I've been searching for documentation that guides me to how to prepend/append a fragmented text with "..." (3 dots), just like this site does, but all that I've found is this:
I don't want to do it manually (replacing the first 3 chars by dots) because I can't be certain if the snippet of the text is the very beginning or not.

If someone can help me through this I would be very thankful.

I never heard about something like that.

Oh, really? I thought it was a common use case. Google does it for their search result descriptions.

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