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Format field for Zip + 4

Posted on 2015-01-13
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Last Modified: 2015-01-13
In a table we have existing data for zip codes, (one field), that in some cases is just the zip like for example "12345".  In other records we have the zip+4 as "23456-2345".  But in other cases we may have the zip as "456781234".  We're working with only data files, hence the inconsistency.

But regardless, in a query designer I need to format the zip code, whatever it is to look like:

"12345" if that is all we have.

But if we have "23456-2345" OR "234562345" it needs to look like "23456-2345"

Hopefully this makes sense.  How can I format the field in the query designer?

--Steve
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Question by:SteveL13
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Assisted Solution

by:PatHartman
PatHartman earned 250 total points
ID: 40547286
On the form/report/query, use the input mask property.  Choose the option for Zip code.  Do not apply the property at the table level since it will mask the actual value.  You never want to apply formats on the table itself.  When you look at the table data directly, you should ALWAYS see what is actually there rather than apply formatting.
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Author Comment

by:SteveL13
ID: 40547300
The field in the underlying table is set as short text.  So when I try the format the field on the form I have no choices.

????
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Accepted Solution

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hnasr earned 250 total points
ID: 40547354
xxx is the field name
Try in your query:
Switch(Len(xxx)=5,xxx,Len(xxx)>5,Left(xxx,5) & "-"& Right(xxx,4)) 

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Author Closing Comment

by:SteveL13
ID: 40547398
Awarding both because there may be times the field is text and other times where it is a number.

This did end up working:

Switch(Len(xxx)=5,xxx,Len(xxx)>5,Left(xxx,5) & "-"& Right(xxx,4))
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Expert Comment

by:PatHartman
ID: 40547542
Zip code should ALWAYS be stored as short text.  It should never be stored as a number because although, at least in the US, it is always numeric, it is a code rather than a number and therefore it needs to retain leading zeros.

If you go back to my answer, you will see I told you to set the Input Mask Property not the Format.   You were probably confused when I said to not apply "formats" to tables.  that was a generic statement since the Input Mask is a format as are Lookups.

The problem with the solution suggested by hnasr is that it renders the field not updateable so you can't use it in a form where you are trying to enter the zip code.  You can ONLY use it for reports or non-updateable forms where you are displaying the zip code.
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