Similar Strings

Calling the find Single Pattern Criterion function generates the following form.

The form has two primary parameters

The form itself gives brief description of the wild cards that can be employed. Here is a more detailed table of the potential patterns and their meanings.

Symbol Meaning Impact on Pattern Search
SWA Any group of printing characters. Searches for records that match the group exactly. Patterns are both case and order specific. To search for patterns occuring somewhere within the string you must use the 'wild cards'
* A group of any printing characters of any length (including zero length) Searching for *SWA* finds those strings that have the pattern 'SWA' anywhere.
? Any single printing character. You can use multiples of ? to specify where to look for your pattern. ???SWA* looks for SWA starting at the fourth character in a string.
# Any single number character (i.e. from 0 - 9) Specifies that there must a number at the position indicated within the pattern.
[Aa] Permits specified alternative values at the pattern position. *[Aa]llen* marks either Allen or allen anywhere within the string.
[!Aa] Disallows the specified characters at the position in the pattern. *[!Aa]llen* marks any string 'llen' provided it does not have 'A' or 'a' at the beginning of it.
[num] A special character meaning find a number irrespective of length at the specified position. The following string pattern *Inv####/[num][Cc]redit* would find all invoices starting with a 4 digit year but with a number pattern of any length immediately followed by the words "Credit" or "credit".

In each case the analysis marks those records in the column or field that match your specified pattern. The audit trail heading will read Col 'X' like [some pattern].


This function operates on string values only. Any cell within the datalist whose underlying value is numeric will generate an error. The 'Check Valid Data' button will verify that no such values exist in your datalist.

For more details about ACBA Analytical and Audit Tools our website contains general descriptions and additional information about it.

See also

List Analysis

  Last Updated: 03/09/2009 | © ACBA (UK) LTD, 2009