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Use the left() function with concatenated fields to retrieve part of a field

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This article is from the book "Access 2007 Pure SQL

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Use the left() string function with concatenated fields

Displaying only the first letter from the customers' first names.

Discussion:

Let’s say we want to write a letter, but instead of using the complete first name of the customer, we only want the first letter to appear.  We can achieve this result and more by using string (text) functions.  In this example, we use the left() function, but we can use anyone that suits your needs.  (I have devoted a whole chapter on string functions to which you can refer for details).  The left function in this example will extract the first character from the first name field. 

Code:

SELECT "Dear" + ' '+ (lastname + '  ' + left(firstname, 1)) +"." + '  '+ "Please complete the enclosed forms so that we can ship your order to your country." AS CustomerLetter

FROM Customers
 

Result: