Microsoft KB Archive/175390

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ACC2: How to Parse Titles Beginning with "A," "An," or "The"

Article ID: 175390

Article Last Modified on 11/6/2000


  • Microsoft Access 2.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q175390

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


Titles often begin with the article "A," "An," or "The." When you sort such title fields, you may not get the desired result of having the titles sorted in alphabetical order by their most meaningful words. For example, movie titles, such as "The Bronx," appear in the t's rather than the b's. To sort titles by a word other than "A," "An," or "The," use the function provided in this article in a query to build a field that will either remove the article completely or move it to the end.

This article assumes that you are familiar with Access Basic and with creating Microsoft Access applications using the programming tools provided with Microsoft Access. For more information about Access Basic, please refer to the "Building Applications" manual.


NOTE: In the following sample code, an underscore (_) at the end of a line is used as a line-continuation character. Remove the underscore from the end of the line when re-creating this code in Access Basic.

   Function ParseArticle(strOldTitle As String, varKeepArticle _
      As Variant) As String

      ' strOldTitle is the field or value you want to parse.
      ' varKeepArticle is a variant value that, when False, completely
      ' removes the article (for example, "The Beatles" becomes "Beatles").
      ' If varKeepArticle is True, the function places the article at the
      ' end of the string returned by the function (for example,
      ' "The Beatles" becomes "Beatles, The").

      On Error GoTo Err_Result
      Dim intLength As Integer, strArticle As String
      intLength = Len(strOldTitle)
      strArticle = ""

      ' Check Value for preceding article (a, an, or the).
      If Left(strOldTitle, 2) = "a " Then
         strArticle = ", " & Left(strOldTitle, 1)
         strOldTitle = Right(strOldTitle, intLength - 2)

      ElseIf Left(strOldTitle, 3) = "an " Then
         strArticle = ", " & Left(strOldTitle, 2)
         strOldTitle = Right(strOldTitle, intLength - 3)

      ElseIf Left(strOldTitle, 4) = "the " Then
         strArticle = ", " & Left(strOldTitle, 3)
         strOldTitle = Right(strOldTitle, intLength - 4)

      End If

      If varKeepArticle Then
       ParseArticle = strOldTitle & strArticle
       ParseArticle = strOldTitle
      End If

      Exit Function

        ParseArticle = "#Error"
   End Function


For more information about parsing strings, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

115915 ACC: Sample Expressions to Extract Portion of Text String

For information on how to parse titles beginning with "A," "An," or "The" in Microsoft Access versions 7.0 and 97, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

154600 ACC: Parsing Titles Beginning with "A," "An," or "The" (95/97)

Additional query words: remove ignore parse

Keywords: kbhowto kbusage KB175390