Like Operator

Compares a string expression to a pattern in an SQL expression.

Syntax

expression Likepattern

The Like operator syntax has these parts:

Part

Description

expression

SQL expression used in a WHERE clause .

pattern

String or character string literal against which expression is compared.


Remarks

You can use the Like operator to find values in a field that match the pattern you specify. For pattern, you can specify the complete value (for example, Like “Smith”), or you can use wildcard characters to find a range of values (for example, Like “Sm*”).

In an expression, you can use the Like operator to compare a field value to a string expression. For example, if you enter Like “C*” in an SQL query, the query returns all field values beginning with the letter C. In a parameter query, you can prompt the user for a pattern to search for.

The following example returns data that begins with the letter P followed by any letter between A and F and three digits:

Like “P[A-F]###”

The following table shows how you can use Like to test expressions for different patterns.


Kind of match


Pattern

Match
(returns True)

No match
(returns False)

Multiple characters

a*a

aa, aBa, aBBBa

aBC

*ab*

abc, AABB, Xab

aZb, bac

Special character

a[*]a

a*a

aaa

Multiple characters

ab*

abcdefg, abc

cab, aab

Single character

a?a

aaa, a3a, aBa

aBBBa

Single digit

a#a

a0a, a1a, a2a

aaa, a10a

Range of characters

[a-z]

f, p, j

2, &

Outside a range

[!a-z]

9, &, %

b, a

Not a digit

[!0-9]

A, a, &, ~

0, 1, 9

Combined

a[!b-m]#

An9, az0, a99

abc, aj0



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