Remove start and end space SQL / phpMyAdmin

Some of my data has spaces at the start or end and this is causing my SQL queries not to give the correct results.

Below is my query...

$query_rs_media_new_cat_filter = "SELECT DISTINCT category
								  FROM media_new
								  WHERE type = 'Ink' OR type='Misc'
								  ORDER BY category ASC";

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How do I remove the space from the "category" output column?
petewinterAsked:
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Rgonzo1971Commented:
Hi,

pls try

$query_rs_media_new_cat_filter = "SELECT DISTINCT TRIM(category) As Category
								  FROM media_new
								  WHERE type = 'Ink' OR type='Misc'
								  ORDER BY TRIM(category) ASC";

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Regards

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Ray PaseurCommented:
Going forward, it's considered "best practice" to sanitize and normalize all external inputs to your PHP scripts.  PHP has a trim() function, too, so you can avoid putting " Ink" into the database when what you really want is "Ink" without the leading space.

If you already have " Ink" or " Ink " with some white space around them, you might want to consider running a query to read and update all of the rows in a way that corrects the unwanted whitespace.  A WHERE clause that might be useful would look something like this:

WHERE type LIKE '%Ink%'

MySQL can use the percent sign as a wild-card operator to match anything or nothing in the WHERE clause.  The exact effect of wild-card matching is dependent on the contents of the database, so you would really want to back up the tables before you ran such a query, and be sure you weren't accidentally matching something like "think" when you ran the update.
Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]Billing EngineerCommented:
I will go along Rays comment, and suggest you make sure the user data is "trimmed" before saving to the db
once that is done, you could clean the existing data once (update yourtable set category = trim(category); )  and avoid doing the trim in the select anyhow.
because then, with a index on category column, you will have a faster performance for that query (as only the index data needs to be read an not the table itself)

next step would be normalization: create a category table (id + name), and store in your data table only the ID value instead of the actual names ... will help you later at plenty of other scenarios
petewinterAuthor Commented:
Many thanks for the help
Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]Billing EngineerCommented:
yes, retrieving from 2 tables can be faster... parallel reads
apart from the fact that small lookup tables are usually in memory anyhow (as hot tables)
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