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Post office box numbers - parse

GRCTools manual | Index

Purpose: to identify post office box numbers within street address fields and to move these numbers to a new field, with or without the correct, standardised local-language word for “post office box”.

This process works by identifying strings in the user-defined address field which indicate a post office box number. The number(s) following this string are written to a user-defined field (the process stops taking data from the field once anything other than a number or space is found). If required, the correct local-language form of the word “post office box” is also written to this field. Postal code and postal town information may also be copied to new fields as post office boxes in some countries may have a separate postal code and postal town to the street address. The remaining street address data is stripped of any remaining preceding punctuation (.,-;: or/). See example below. Once a string is found, the process stops checking - each address is assumed to have only one post office box number.

Example: Postbox 17, Ooststraat 21 in the Netherlands will be split into two fields: Postbus 17 and Ooststraat 21.

Postboxes which commence with a single letter (e.g. Locked Bag E142) or those which end in one or two letters (e.g. G.P.O. Box 128A or P.O. Box 1DT) are also recognized and parsed. Apparent postbox strings which are not followed by a number are not parsed.

Information required: You need to specify once for each GRC ToolsTMsession these parameters:


For each field specified, you must specify whether the data in the field is in upper or mixed (upper and lower) case. The same case is retained in the field to which the post-box information is written.