ACC2000: How to Sort Titles Without Including the Leading Articles (The, A, or An)

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Article ID: 210556 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q210556

Moderate: Requires basic macro, coding, and interoperability skills.

This article applies only to a Microsoft Access database (.mdb).

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This article shows you how to sort titles in text fields without including the leading articles "the," "a," or "an."


For example, take the following list of book titles:
Aztec Indians
The Ant People
Beast Man
The Baseball Club
An Attempt At Fun
Apple Valley
If you were to sort this list by using the custom function described in this article in a query, you would receive the following list:
The Ant People
Apple Valley
An Attempt At Fun
Aztec Indians
The Baseball Club
Beast Man
Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied. This includes, but is not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language that is being demonstrated and with the tools that are used to create and to debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific requirements.
To have book titles returned without the leading article, create the following function:
Option Explicit

Function GetTitle(Titles) As String

   Dim sp As Integer

   sp = InStr(1, Titles, Chr$(32))
   If sp > 0 Then
      Select Case Left(Titles, sp - 1)
         Case "An", "A", "The"    ' add any other articles here!
            GetTitle = Mid(Titles, sp + 1)
         Case Else
            GetTitle = Titles
      End Select
       GetTitle = Titles
   End If

End Function
To sort a table on the Titles field, create a query with the following two columns in the query grid:
   Field: Sorted List: GetTitle([Titles])
      Sort: Ascending
      Show: No
   Field: [Titles]
      Show: Yes

The first column is a calculated field that extracts the text of the Titles field, but omits the leading article. The results of this calculation are sorted in ascending order. The first Show check box is cleared so that the query result shows the full title, including the leading articles.


For additional information about parsing strings, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
209045 ACC2000: Sample Expressions to Extract Portion of Text String


Article ID: 210556 - Last Review: October 11, 2006 - Revision: 3.2
  • Microsoft Access 2000 Standard Edition
kbhowto kbprogramming KB210556

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