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What's this ExtractString Function in Crystal Reports?

I am not sure when this ExtractString  function was added to Crystal Reports, but as I have not come across it before, it intrigued me to find out what this mysterious function did.

As it turns out this function allows designers to extract characters between two character strings.

Usually I would use the InStr() function to do this, which can be such a ball breaker, so I am excited that this function, could make things a whole lot simpler.

ExtractString has 3 arguments:
  • The Search String
  • The search string starting point, and
  • The search string end point

Just some pointers:

  • If it find the start criteria, but no end criteria, it will return all the characters from the start string position
  • If its does not find the start criteria, it will return a Null, even if there is an end criteria
  • If the end criteria occurs before the start criteria, it will ignore it
  • If the string has multiple start and end criteria, it will only look at the first instance

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