Tip of the Day : Example Uses of the LTRIM String Function

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SQL Server Tip of the Day - January 18, 2018

Example Uses of the LTRIM String Function

The LTRIM string function returns a character expression after it removes the leading blanks or spaces.   The syntax of the LTRIM string function is as follows:

LTRIM ( < character_expression > )

The < character_expression > is an expression of character or binary data and can be a constant, variable or column.  The < character_expression > must be of data type, except TEXT, NTEXT and IMAGE, that is implicitly convertible to VARCHAR.  Otherwise, the CAST function must be used to explicitly convert the < character_expression >

Usage #1 : Remove or Trim Leading Zeros in a String

DECLARE @Input          VARCHAR(20)
SET @Input = '00001240-01010'
SELECT REPLACE(LTRIM(REPLACE(@Input, '0', ' ')), ' ', '0') AS [Output]
Output
-----------
1240-01010

Usage #2 : Remove or Trim Trailing Spaces Without Using RTRIM

DECLARE @Input          VARCHAR(100)
SET @Input = 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.    '

SELECT REVERSE(LTRIM(REVERSE(@Input))) AS [Output]
Output
-----------
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Usage #3 : Determine the Position of the First Non-Space Character

DECLARE @Input          VARCHAR(100)
SET @Input = '      SQL Server Helper'
SELECT LEN(@Input) - LEN(LTRIM(@Input)) + 1 AS [Location]
Location
-----------
7

SQL Server 2012

SQL Server 2008

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