How can I shorten a zip code to its first 3 digits?

Hi guys,
I'm allowing a user to search my  db by using a zip code to find merchants in that zip code.
But I also want to show results of zip codes nearby based on the 5 digit zip code entered.
Shortening the zip code to 4 digits will give me the results I want. I'll also want to expand that search to a much broader area using the same input by shortening that input to 3 digits.

So what do I write after the following:
$5_zip=$_REQUEST['5_zip'];

Thanks for the help,
Sas
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sasnaktivAsked:
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Kim WalkerWeb Programmer/TechnicianCommented:
What kind of database do you have? This is more of a database function than a php function. You have to request all the businesses whose zip codes begin with the first three digits of the requested zip code.

Getting the first three digits is very basic. Use the substr (substring) function. (By the way, php variable names must start with a letter or underscore. See PHP: Basics - Manual, second paragraph.)

$zip3 = substr($_REQUEST['5_zip'],0,3);

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sasnaktivAuthor Commented:
Thank you very much. That's exactly what I needed. Have a good weekend.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
You should know that Zipcodes are not assigned exactly by proximity.  For example, in the area Northeast of Jackson in Northern California, you can find the following adjacent Zipcodes:

95685 - 95665 - 95666 - 95642 - 95255 - 95232
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