How to Remove Space From a Data Oracle SQL


There are several different methods for removing spaces from data retrieved in an Oracle results set. Oracle PL/SQL provides several different character functions for removing spaces, and which one you will need to use will depend on the data and where the spaces occur in the retrieved data.

  • You can use the CHR (Character) function to remove spaces from mailing addresses.
    Suppose that you want to retrieve customer data from the database, but in some circumstances missing address information will cause additional blank lines in the address:
    SELECT custname, address1, address2, address3, address4, custcity || ', ' || custstate || " " || zipcode
    from businessname;

    Thomas Smith
    10 Main Street
    Suite 201

    New York, NY 02166

    where there are spaces between the suite and city. To remove these spaces, you can use the CHR function to suppress the internal blank lines:

    SELECT custname ||

                DECODE (address1,  NULL,  NULL,  CHR (10) || address1) ||
    DECODE (address2, NULL, NULL, CHR (10) || address2) ||
    DECODE (address3, NULL, NULL, CHR (10) || address3) ||
    DECODE (address4, NULL, NULL, CHR (10) || address4) ||
    CHR (10) ||
    custcity || ', ' || custstate || ' ' || zipcode

    FROM businessname,

    Thomas Smith
    10 Main Street
    Suite 201
    New York, NY 02166

    Blank address lines are ignored and the address prints properly. You may have to add the wrap function in the reports field that holds this string.

  • You can use the left trim function (LTRIM) to remove leading spaces. LTRIM removes characters from the leading positions in a string.
    LTRIM ( ' bbbb This is an example of removing leading spaces') results in
    'This is an example of removing leading spaces'. All of the leading spaces have been removed from the data.

  • You can use the right trim (RTRIM) function to remove spaces at the end of a string.

    RTRIM deletes characters from the end of a string.
    RTRIM ( ' This is an example of removing ending spaces bbbb') results in
    'This is an example of removing ending spaces'. All of the ending spaces have been removed from the data.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are other character functions available in Oracle PL/SQL, such as replace, that could also be used in certain circumstances.

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