What's the fast way to do this?

Dr. Logic

Board Regular
Joined
Jul 13, 2005
Messages
218
Whats the fastest way to remove all the symbols in a column of data in access?
I only want the numbers and letters to be in my data.


My database is about 4 million records and one of the fields in the records is a catalog number and I want to remove all the symbols in the catalog number in all 4 million records. I can use an update query but it makes me run an update query for each symbol - that takes a long time.

Can an update query remove many symbols at the same time? What's the best way to do this?
 

xenou

MrExcel MVP, Moderator
Joined
Mar 2, 2007
Messages
16,551
Office Version
2013
Platform
Windows
I guess depending on how symbols are you talking about here I would use the regex solution but simple replace might be faster if you had only a small number of non-alphanumeric characters actually in question (hard to say without testing = probably also depends on the average length of the strings in each record).

It might help a little to not recreate the object on each function call though so:
Code:
Function CleanString(strText)
Static objRegEx As Object

If objRegEx Is Nothing Then
    Set objRegEx = CreateObject("VBScript.RegExp")
    objRegEx.IgnoreCase = True
    objRegEx.Global = True
    objRegEx.Pattern = "[^a-z0-9]"
End If

CleanString = objRegEx.Replace(strText, "")

End Function


EDIT:
Note that I am referring to the method in the link Joe gave ....
 
Last edited:

Micron

Well-known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2015
Messages
1,766
The regex approach shown will remove apostrophes as well? Might be a good thing, or maybe they want to keep the ' in O'Hara?
 

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