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How can I trim certain characters in SQL?

Posted on 2011-09-26
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
How can I trim certain characters in a query?

I have a column that had some records containing the value: 12345-123
I only want to select the characters before the dash.

So I want to trim the dash and all characters at the right of the dash.
(So it returns the value: 12345)

Best regards,
Clyde.
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Question by:Clyde_Radcliffe
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4 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:kswathi
ID: 36597606
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LVL 6

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by:kswathi
ID: 36597616
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by:John_Arifin
ID: 36597972
Select Left(YourField, charindex('-', YourField) - 1) from YourTable
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Accepted Solution

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Patrick Matthews earned 2000 total points
ID: 36599320
If the data will ALWAYS have a dash, then John_Arifin's suggestion will work splendidly.

If there is any possibility that there is no dash, would you want the whole string returned, or nothing?  If the former:

SELECT LEFT(SomeColumn, CHARINDEX('-', SomeColumn + '-') - 1) AS Answer
FROM SomeTable

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If the latter, this excludes records where there is no dash:

SELECT LEFT(SomeColumn, CHARINDEX('-', SomeColumn) - 1) AS Answer
FROM SomeTable
WHERE SomeColumn LIKE '%-%'

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and this returns a null:

SELECT CASE 
    WHEN SomeColumn LIKE '%-%' THEN LEFT(SomeColumn, CHARINDEX('-', SomeColumn) - 1)
    ELSE NULL END AS Answer
FROM SomeTable

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and this returns a zero length string:

SELECT CASE 
    WHEN SomeColumn LIKE '%-%' THEN LEFT(SomeColumn, CHARINDEX('-', SomeColumn) - 1)
    ELSE '' END AS Answer
FROM SomeTable

Open in new window

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