3.8.3 Wild Card Queries

You can query string and character fields with wild card characters. The following paragraphs define the wild card characters:

* The asterisk (*) matches any string of zero or more characters. For example, the pattern *cat* would match both category and location. Any string ending with cat would be found with the pattern *cat. The pattern cat* would match any string beginning with cat.

? The question mark (?) matches any single character. The pattern bar? matches bark, and barn, but not barrel. The pattern ???? would match strings containing exactly four characters.

You can use wild card searches only in string or character fields; numeric, date, and time fields cannot be searched by wild card.

When form does a wild card search, form usually makes no distinction between upper-case and lower-case letters. If, however, form is able to use the field containing the wild card as an index (as described above), and the first character of your pattern is not a wild card character (* or ?), form first does a case sensitive index search on the leading non wild card characters in your pattern to get to the first record that matches your pattern, then does a case insensitive sequential search to find the actual matches. For example, in the Name field, the wild card pattern *tom* would match Tom Henley and Atom Ant. The wild card pattern tom*, however, would not match Tom Hanley if the Name field is indexed.