How can I convert Memo field entries to String data?

I'm using Crystal 8.5 and SQL Server.  I need to print a Bar Code with the contents of the memo field.  The string needs a asterisk on each end for the code 39 scanner to start/stop read.  The formula would be "*"+{memo.field.name}+"*".  This will not work because memo fields cannot be used in formula.  Is there a function I can use to convert the memo to string?  Then allow me to use the output from this formula in my bar code formula?
Tim RaganAsked:
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James0628Commented:
This may be a longshot, but can you use the memo field in a formula by itself?  I haven't used CR 8.5, but CR 10 also had some restrictions when it came to memo fields, and I found that if I put a memo field in a formula, I could use the formula where CR would not let me use the field.  It was like simply putting the memo field in a formula "converted" it to text.

 Another option might be to concatenate the values in a field.  In CR 10, you could create a text field on the report, type the first "*" in the field, drag and drop a text field from your datasource into that report field, then double-click on the report field and type another "*" at the end.  I don't know if you can do that in CR 8.5, or, if you can, it may not allow you to use a memo field that way, but you could give it a try.

 If that doesn't work, and CR 8.5 doesn't have some kind of built-in conversion function, then you may have to do the conversion on the server.  You could use a view or stored procedure, or maybe create a query in CR, that would convert the field to varchar (?), so that CR would see it as text.  Then again, if you're going to do that, it might be just as easy to just add the "*"s to the field in the query, and then maybe the field type in CR wouldn't matter.

 James
mlmccCommented:
You may be able to use LEFT to get the left 250 characters.

Left({YourMemoField),250)

If you only need the first 20 or 30 use that number.

If that doesn't work, can you build a view in the database?
If so build one that returns a shorter string

 mlmcc

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