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5. Queries and SQL > 54. Use Regular Expressions in Access Queries

Use Regular Expressions in Access Queries

Sometimes wildcards aren’t enough. With a little hacking, you can use regular expressions in your queries.

Although Access allows for some powerful string matching (see “Wildcard characters and the Like operator” in the Access Help system), sometimes you require an even more powerful solution. Microsoft added the ability to use regular expressions back in Version 5.0 of its Windows Scripting Engine, bringing it up to par with JavaScript. You can use this power inside an Access query as well.

Although the advanced details of regular expressions are beyond the scope of this hack, this example will get you started if you are new to the subject. If you need more information, I recommend the book Mastering Regular Expressions (O’Reilly).


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