Tuesday, 15 January 2013 08:41

When the propercase function just doesn't cut it

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The propercase function is Crystal's equivalent of the TitleCase function in MS Word. Traditionally used for the titles of everything (books, plays, movies, etc), title case returns a capital/uppercase letter for the start of every significant word – where words like and, of, the and a are not counted as significant.


Well, there are situations where the standard Propercase function in Crystal Reports just does not cut it. Here are some issues reported by a client some time ago when using the standard propercase function to clean up data report-side:

42829C: Beneficiary name has John W Howes III; function translates to John W Howes Iii.
33881C: Address line 1 has 901 Thompson Cir NW; function translates to 901 Thompson Cir Nw.
40720C: Beneficiary name has Harry H Hill III Trust, function translates to Harry H Hill Iii Trust
59486C: Employee last name is McLuen function translates to Mcluen.
71705C: Address line 1 has 240 Watson Dr NW; function translates to 240 Watson Dr Nw.

To resolve this issue, I created a custom propercase function that took into consideration a number of exceptions and custom data patterns.

Function (stringVar InputString)

// **************************************************************
// Modified: Nov-04-2009: expanded list of Uppercase words and
// added logic for 'Mc' names.
// Modified: Nov-13-2009: replaced all commas in names with spaces for parsing 
// **************************************************************

// Purpose: This formula takes an input string and returns the
// the propercase conversion of the string. For example, an
// input string of "c/o rosemont seminary" returns "C/O Rosemount
// Seminary". This custom formula fixes the problem with the regular
// propercase function where letters following apostrophes (') are
// returned in uppercase instead of lowercase (for example instead of returning
// St Mary's, the propercase function returns St. Mary'S.

// declare array to capture distinct words in input string
local stringvar array ArrayofWordsinInputString;

// declare array to hold a list of odd characters that
// cause problems in converting to propercase
local stringvar array ArrayofOddCharacters;

// declare array to hold a list of conjunctions that
// should NOT be capitalized - should be left unchanged
local stringvar array ArrayofWordsUnchanged;

// declare array to hold a list of names that have two-letter abbreviations
// at the beginning of the name (like mcluen, mcdonalds) that need to be conditionally
// uppercased to McLuen, McDonalds (i.e. the name after the abbreviation needs to be in
// uppercase
local stringvar array ArrayofMcNames;

// declare array to hold a list of words that
// should always be capitalized
local stringvar array ArrayofWordsUpperCase;

// declare variable to count number of words in input string
local numbervar nWordCount;
// declare a counter variable

local numbervar i;
// declare variable for holding cleaned-up string
local stringvar sOutputString := "";

// declare variable to hold current word in the input string
local stringvar CurrentWord;

// declare variable to hold first two letters in current word in the input string
local stringvar CurrentWordFirstTwoLetters;

// declare variable to hold the number of characters in current word in the input string
local numbervar nWordLen;
// declare variable to hold proper case word after conversion
local stringvar ProperCaseWord;
// declare variable to hold current letter in current word
local stringvar CurrentLetter;
// declare boolean variable to flag if current character in string is
// an odd character (/, ., \ etc)
local booleanvar blnOddChar := false;

// split up the input field into an array of individual words
ArrayofWordsinInputString := split(replace(InputString,',',' '));

// get count of number of discrete words in input string
nWordCount := ubound(ArrayofWordsinInputString);

// assign odd characters to array;
ArrayofOddCharacters := ["." , "/", "\", "-"];

// assign UpperCase characters to array;
ArrayofWordsUpperCase := ['PO', 'III', 'I', 'II', 'IV', 'V', 'VI', 'VIII', 'IX', 'X', 'NW', 'NE', 'SE', 'SW'];

// assign names to McNames array
ArrayofMcNames := ['mc'];

// assign words that should NOT be propercased in input string
ArrayofWordsUnchanged := ["and", "of", "the", "for"];

// ********** Begin Looping through Input String ***********

// loop through each word in input string
// referred to as OUTER LOOP
For i := 1 to nWordCount do
// capture the current word in variable
CurrentWord := lcase(ArrayofWordsinInputString[i]);
// figure out length of current word
nWordLen := length(CurrentWord);
// initialize variable - clear out
ProperCaseWord := "";
// initialize boolean variable - set to false
blnOddChar := false;

// get the first two letters in the current word;
if nWordLen > 2
then CurrentWordFirstTwoLetters := left(CurrentWord, 2)
else CurrentWordFirstTwoLetters := "";

// declare counter variable
local numbervar j;

// The following if statement decides whether to enter
// INNER LOOP depending on whether the current word
// being processed belongs to the list words that should
// be left unchanged. For example, if the inputstring is
// "the diocese of st. mary", the word "of" that belongs to
// our list (see array "ArrayofWordsUnchanged") would not
// be propercased. So the result should be "The Diocese of
// St. Mary".
// NOTE: This rule applies only if the word is in the
// second or subsequent word in the field. If it's the first
// word in the field, it will be propercased. For example, "diocese
// of mexico" will be "Diocese of Mexico", whereas "the diocese
// of mexico" will be "The Diocese of Mexico".

// if the current word is in the list of words
// to be presented always in UpperCase,
// then simple convert to Uppercase and pass to ProperCaseWord
if CurrentWord in ArrayofWordsUpperCase
then ProperCaseWord := ucase(CurrentWord)

// check if names in the McNames array
else if ucase(CurrentWordFirstTwoLetters) in ArrayofMcNames
then ProperCaseWord := ucase(CurrentWord[1]) & lcase(CurrentWord[2]) & ucase(CurrentWord[3]) & lcase(right(CurrentWord, nWordLen - 3))

else if (i > 1 and CurrentWord in ArrayofWordsUnchanged)
// simply pass CurrentWord into Propercase variable
// this will avoid going through the INNER LOOP and
// will not uppercase this word.
then ProperCaseWord := CurrentWord
// loop through each letter in the current word
// referred to as INNER LOOP
For j := 1 to nWordLen do
// begin looping through letters

// if this is the first character in the current word
if j = 1
// if IT IS an odd character
if CurrentWord[j] in ArrayofOddCharacters
// reverse boolean variable to indicate that this character is odd
// so that the following character will be forced to uppercase
blnOddChar := true;
// then do nothing to the current character - simply append it to ProperCaseWord
ProperCaseWord := ProperCaseWord & CurrentWord[j];
else // then if IT IS NOT an odd character
// convert this first character to uppercase
ProperCaseWord := ProperCaseWord & ucase(CurrentWord[j])
) // end if statement j = 1

// if this is the second or subsequent characters in the current word
else if j > 1
// if IT IS an odd character
if CurrentWord[j] in ArrayofOddCharacters
// reverse boolean variable to indicate that this character is odd
// so that the following character will be forced to uppercase
blnOddChar := true;
// then do nothing to the current character - simply append it to ProperCaseWord
ProperCaseWord := ProperCaseWord & CurrentWord[j];
else // then if IT IS NOT an odd character
// if the previous character was an odd character
if blnOddChar = true
then // this character (letter) will be converted to uppercase
blnOddChar := false;
ProperCaseWord := ProperCaseWord & ucase(CurrentWord[j]);

// else if the previous character was NOT an odd character,
// then this character (letter) will be converted to lowercase
ProperCaseWord := ProperCaseWord & lcase(CurrentWord[j]);
); // end if statement
) // end if statement j > 1

); // end INNER LOOP


); // end if statement - if CurrentWord ArrayofWordsUnchanged

// append the propercased word to the output string in outer loop

// Add space to word being processed in
// OUTER LOOP is more than one character long
sOutputString := sOutputString + ProperCaseWord & " "

); // End OUTER LOOP

// print clean-up string

Read 10017 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 April 2015 09:08
Will Munji

Will Munji is a seasoned data integration, data warehousing and business intelligence (BI) architect & developer who has been working in the DW/BI space for a while. He got his start in BI working on Brio SQR (later Hyperion SQR) and the Crystal Decisions stack (Reports, Analysis & Enterprise) and SAP BusinessObjects / Microsoft BI stacks. He currently focuses on Talend Data Management Suite, Hadoop, SAP BusinessObjects BI stack as well as Jaspersoft and Tableau. He has consulted for many organizations across a variety of industries including healthcare, manufacturing, retail, insurance and banking. At Kindle Consulting, Will delivers DW/BI/Data Integration solutions that range from front-end BI development (dashboards, reports, cube development, T-SQL/ PL/SQL ...) to data services (ETL/ DI development), data warehouse architecture and development, data integration to BI Architecture design and deployment.

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