Section B.2. Formatting Character Strings

B 2 Formatting Character Strings

SQL*Plus offers only one format element when it comes to character strings: A. A is always followed by a number specifying the column width in characters . Character strings shorter than the column width are displayed as left-justified within the column. Character strings that exceed the column width are wrapped or truncated based on the option specified in the COLUMN command. The following example shows a text column formatted wide enough to display the entire character string:

SQL>

COLUMN a FORMAT A40

SQL>

SELECT 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away.' A

2

FROM dual;

A

----------------------------------------

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

You can format the column so it is 18 characters wide, which results in the text being wrapped within that space:

SQL>

COLUMN a FORMAT A18

SQL>

SELECT 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away.' A

2

FROM dual;

A

------------------

An apple a day kee

ps the doctor away

.

By default, SQL*Plus wraps the text right in the middle of a word if necessary. You can use the WORD_WRAPPED option of the COLUMN command to wrap text only at word boundaries:

SQL>

COLUMN a FORMAT A18 WORD_WRAPPED

SQL>

SELECT 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away.' A

2

FROM dual;

A

------------------

An apple a day

keeps the doctor

away.

You also have the ability to truncate text at the column boundary:

SQL>

COLUMN a FORMAT A18 TRUNCATE

SQL>

SELECT 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away.' A

2

FROM dual;

A

------------------

An apple a day kee

When used with the ACCEPT command, a character format defines the maximum number of characters SQL*Plus will accept from the user :

SQL>

ACCEPT some_text CHAR FORMAT A10 thisthatthen

"thisthatthen" does not match input format "A10"

 

SQL>

Although the character format used with ACCEPT specifies a maximum length, it doesn't specify a minimum length. You can enter fewer characters than the format calls for, even to the point of entering nothing at all.

     



Oracle SQL Plus The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition
Oracle SQL*Plus: The Definitive Guide (Definitive Guides)
ISBN: 0596007469
EAN: 2147483647
Year: N/A
Pages: 151
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