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 FileMaker Pro Custom Functions

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Trim4 ( text )

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  Average rating: 4.0  (72 votes)
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Ray Cologon, NightWing Enterprises

Removes *all* leading and trailing white space from the supplied text, including tabs, carriage returns, spaces and non-breaking spaces.

Sample Input:
Trim4 (" ¶¶Your text here ¶ ")
Sample Output:
Your text here

 Then copy & paste into FileMaker Advanced's Edit Custom Function window.


FileMaker's built-in Trim( ) function does a great job of removing spaces from the beginning or end of a value, but it does not deal with other types of 'white space' characters such as tabs and carriage returns.

Other functions such as the LeftWords( ) function will remove tabs abnd CRs, but also take out punctuation, leading decimals, bullets and dashes etc.

This function operates recusively to remove any or all of the four characters:

- space
- non-breaking space
- carriage return
- tab

from leading and trailing positions around the supplied text. I've named it Trim4 because it explicitly removes leading/trailing occurrences of four characters.

Note1: The first parameter of each of the PatternCount( ) functions contains the four targeted characters (space, nbrspace, tab, CR).

Note2: To address an issue that occurred when copying the original function (some browsers rendered non-breaking space as regular spaces), a revised version has been posted above. This version requires FIleMaker 10 or later, as it uses the Char( ) function to explicitly render the characters mentioned in Note 1 above.

Note3: If you wish to use the revised version of the Trim4( )function with a version prior to 10, you'll need to re-define the sT variable with a literal string containing the corresponding characters (tab, return, space and non-breaking space respectively). Or find someone with a copy of an earlier version of the function... ;)

Note: these functions are not guaranteed or supported by Please contact the individual developer with any questions or problems.

This is my Custom Function and I want to edit it


5 most recent comments | Show all 36 comments

Excellent - just what I needed!

Mike Scott, Liverpool
July 10, 2014 7:45am

Yes, its a really a nice one. But sometimes we need a specific no of carriage retuns from our text (not at leading and trailing ). lets look at the below example.
"1¶2¶3¶4¶4¶¶4¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶5¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶¶ ¶¶6¶¶¶¶" text needs to be converted to "1¶2¶3¶4¶4¶4¶5¶6".
So for this we have to use one additional function to do the same.

Function: Substitute ( Text ; ["¶¶" ; "¶#"];["#¶";""] ;["#";""] )
Where "Text" is the input string.

It only replces the multiple carriage retuns within the text to a single one. If will not replaces the leading and trailing carriage returns. SO we have to pass this functin into the Trim4(text) custom function.

abhaya, BBSR
August 22, 2014 12:25am

What are your thoughts on the similar non-recursive method used in Supertrim, by Debi Fuchs, found at ? I'm wondering if you know of an advantage to the algorithm used here?

Dan Shockley, New York, NY
March 31, 2015 12:27pm

Hi Dan,

The function Debi came up with is great and, since it exploits native functions, would work well for heavy lifting applications (i.e. processing large amounts of text).

The Trim4 example shown here is a subset of a suite of functions including a master function (not published here) that uses the same concept to trim any string of characters from leading/trailing positions (by supplying the sT variable at runtime via a second function parameter) - so in that sense the recursive approach I took here offers some added flexibility and the ability to more easily reapply the logic to other related tasks.

Both have their uses and together they demonstrate the flexibility of the platform (i.e. there are multiple viable solutions to most problems in FileMaker).


Ray Cologon, Melbourne, Australia
April 01, 2015 7:27am

Simple and elegant, what else could we ask? =D

Paco Baez, Adeliade, Australia
July 21, 2016 11:28pm

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