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Character Field Sorting

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  • Character Field Sorting

    Hi all,

    I'm trying to sort a character field that is used as a drop-down lookup.
    This field holds part numbers and does sometimes contain letters.

    Here is the current result of the lookup list:

    This is the desired result:

    Is there a character function to help achieve this sorting?

  • #2
    Re: Character Field Sorting

    Based on the data provided, I would be tempted to setup a "sort" column, based on the lookup column.
    I would replace the "-" with a period, then sort by val(sort)
    Gregg is a great site to test and share sql code


    • #3
      Re: Character Field Sorting

      try loading the values into an array, then sort the array?

      This was obviously just using some text data elements, but you could initialize the array from a table as well.

      DIM TXT[6] AS c
      results:sorted array.jpg



      • #4
        Re: Character Field Sorting

        thanks for the replies.
        Gregg I gave your's a shot first and although it seems like it should work, it works only partially.
        Here's what I put in the Display Order box in the lookup tab:

        Confirmed that the result is as follows: VAL(STRTRAN("11-2","-",".")) comes out to 11.2

        I then tested it as an equation: VAL(STRTRAN("11-2","-",".")) > VAL(STRTRAN("11","-",".")) the result yields True
        Opening the drop-down, it does sort in the correct order, HOWEVER, when typing "11" in the field it brings up the "11-2" number first even-though its listed as the second I missing something?


        • #5
          Re: Character Field Sorting


          I'm sorry. I thought you were building an x-dialog box for the lookup. Let me go a little further and see what I can come up with.


          • #6
            Re: Character Field Sorting

            Hi John,

            I must be missing something.
            Please consider sharing your component along with some sample data.
            This will let us see what you're seeing.
   is a great site to test and share sql code


            • #7
              Re: Character Field Sorting

              Hey John,

              Hopefully I understand what you are going for. This seemed to work for me with limited knowledge of your table:
              Table with numbers:
              data table.PNG

              The Lookup:


              **EDIT: It should be padr, not padl... It somehow still worked with padl, but we need to add the "-0" to the right of the string.**
              Last edited by Davidowicza; 09-27-2019, 12:07 PM. Reason: Syntax


              • #8
                Re: Character Field Sorting

                Thanks Andrew, I'll give it a try later.
                Could you do me a favor and check also when typing in for example: "33" what is the suggestion that it brings up?
                The problem i was having was that the list was sorted correctly but it was suggesting the "-3" rather than "no dash" as the first entry.


                • #9
                  Re: Character Field Sorting

                  Confirmed (with the correct Padr())



                  • #10
                    Re: Character Field Sorting

                    my part numbers are varying lengths so I tried including the len() function.
                    It wasn't successful padr(PART_NUMBER,len(PART_NUMBER),"-0") did not even sort correctly. How would the padding function help to sort properly, I'm failing to understand the logic behind this.


                    • #11
                      Re: Character Field Sorting

                      Since your numbers do not have the save format, by adding the -0 to numbers that don't have that format makes the numbers consistent enough to sort them correctly.

                      Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in those things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford


                      • #12
                        Re: Character Field Sorting

                        Hey John,

                        Sorry I was out for a couple of days.

                        Originally posted by hov333 View Post
                        my part numbers are varying lengths so I tried including the len() function.
                        It wasn't successful padr(PART_NUMBER,len(PART_NUMBER),"-0") did not even sort correctly. How would the padding function help to sort properly, I'm failing to understand the logic behind this.
                        Does that mean my ordering filter is not working for you? With the information you provided, it will work. You showed us that your table has numbers with a length of 5 or 7, so that is why we padr() with a length of 7 on them, which would add the "-0" to all the 5 length numbers making them a length of 7 while putting them as the smallest for the group (11111-0) so alpha can sort them accordingly. Can you please be more specific on what you mean by "varying lengths"? Maybe that is where I am losing you.
                        Last edited by Davidowicza; 10-01-2019, 08:49 AM.


                        • #13
                          Re: Character Field Sorting

                          Just taking a guess here, but by varying lengths, we might see:
                          A) the number to the right of the hyphen may increment above 9
                          B) 33333-XXX (as he mentions that it sometimes contains letters)


                          • #14
                            Re: Character Field Sorting

                            You are right Lonnie, I did miss that it sometimes includes letters...

                            But taking a stab at what you are saying about the right of the hyphen, I'll go for the max length of each is XXXXX-XXXXX (Again assuming since we don't have that info.)

                            This should work:

                            padl(word(Numbers,1,"-"),5,"0")+" "+padr(word(Numbers,2,"-"),5,"0")