How to return the first letter of a string of letters and numberr

I have a field that contains a string of numbers and letters that always has 1 or more numbers at the beginning. I need to pull only the first letter, from the left,  that is contained in the string.
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SimonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This works (in a query)

SELECT Left(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace(Replace([Yourstring],'0',''),'1',''),'2',''),'3',''),'4',''),'5',''),'6',''),'7',''),'8',''),'9',''),1) AS Expr1
FROM Table1;

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Yes, that really is ten levels of nested replace functions ;)

This should be faster than vba if you're processing the contents of 100s of rows. Obviously not so good for a single field value on a form.
Martin LissOlder than dirtCommented:
Dim lngIndex As Long

For lngIndex = 1 To Len(MyString)
    If Not IsNumeric(Mid(MyString, lngIndex, 1)) Then
        MsgBox Mid(MyString, lngIndex, 1)
        Exit For
    End If

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Lots of different ways to do that.
A bunch of folks will chime in.
Pick the most efficient and elegant method suggested

Using VBA

Function ReturnFirstLetter(strData as string) as String
Dim Done as Boolean

Done = False
'Lets recursively select the first character of the string
Do until Done = True
    if Len(StrData) = 0 then
        ReturnFirstLetter ="No Letter!"
        Done = True
        Exit Do
    end if
    'Check if it's a number
    If isNumeric(Left(StrData,1)) = True
        ReturnFirstLetter = Left(StrData,1)
        Done = True
        'trim off the leftmost character if it isn'y
        StrData = Right(StrData, Len(StrData)-1)
    end if

End Function

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Rey Obrero (Capricorn1)Commented:
i think this simple query will do the job

select [F1], left(replace([F1],val([F1]),""),1) as FirstLetter
from tablex

Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
Use this minimal expression:

StrFirstChar = Mid(strNumberText, Len(CStr(Val("1" & strNumberText))), 1)

Some explanation of what that's doing would be nice :)

Rey Obrero (Capricorn1)Commented:
speaking of minimal,

see http:#a40540769
Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
Assuming that a value can have a leading zero:


I prefix a "1" to avoid a leading zero:


Now Val safely can extract the number part:


This is converted to a string:

    CStr(Val("1" & strNumberText))

which has a length:

    Len(CStr(Val("1" & strNumberText)))

which is used as the second parameter in Mid to define the position of the character:

    Mid(strNumberText, Len(CStr(Val("1" & strNumberText))))

Finally the last parameter is applied to extract one character only:

    Mid(strNumberText, Len(CStr(Val("1" & strNumberText))), 1)

Great fun!
I had lost sight of the original parameters
Multiple numbers before letters.
Now Val() makes sense
Get the count of numbers from the front
Shear those off and take the first thing remaining.

or replace them with "" as @Rey did

Lots of ways to do it.
Didn't figure mine'd be the winner :)
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