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Sub-Items Break on Character

Datafile Software

Sub-Items Break on Character

Sub-Items allow you to break an existing data item into smaller parts – for example taking the first three-characters of an account code. The sub-item is defined by selecting the data item it is based upon followed by setting the start position to split the text and the size. This new option allows you to define a sub-item so that a text item is split based on a character rather than setting a specific start and size position.

As an example an email address is made up of two parts split by the ‘@’ sign but the ‘@’ is in a random position so you cannot split the two parts using the existing sub-item options but the new option allows this.


When defining a sub-item you enter the data item label as required, select the item type as ‘=’, and then specify the data item you wish to base the sub-item upon (<F4-Select> is available if required). Remember that the sub-item must be after the base item within the file structure.

Next you are asked for the start position. At this point you can enter the start position within the item as previously – position 1, 15, etc. Alternatively you can enter the delimiter for which you wish to split the item upon – the delimiter can be any character apart from the numbers 0-9 or a space.

Finally you are asked for the size. If you entered a start position rather than a delimiter then the size is the number of characters on from the start position you wish to include in the sub-item. If you entered a delimiter then you are asked for a value from 1-9 corresponding to the split portion you require. In the example of the email address ‘1’ would be the first part before the ‘@’, and ‘2’ would be the second part after the ‘@’. However, if the delimiter character appears more than once you may want the third or fourth part, and so on. The delimiter can appear up to eight times within the base item which can therefore be split into a maximum nine parts. Note that if using the ‘delimiter’ option the size assigned to the sub-item is equal to that of the base item (if no delimiter then the full content of the field would be in the first partition).

  • Release ID: 5.8