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This is documentation for Caché & Ensemble. See the InterSystems IRIS version of this content.

For information on migrating to InterSystems IRIS, see How to Migrate to InterSystems IRIS, available on the WRC Distributions page (login required).


Returns the number of characters in a string.




string An expression that resolves to a string or numeric expression.


The LEN function returns the number of characters in a specified string. LEN counts characters, not bytes. You can use the BYTELEN function to count the number of bytes in a string.

For numerics, prior to determining the length MVBasic performs all arithmetic operations and converts numbers to canonical form, with leading and trailing zeroes, a trailing decimal point, and all signs removed except a single minus sign. Note that LEN does count the decimal point and the minus sign. Numeric strings are not converted to canonical form. An empty string ("") returns a length of 0.


The following example uses the LEN function to return the number of characters in a string:

PRINT LEN("InterSystems");  ! Returns 12
PRINT LEN(+0099.900);       ! Returns 4
PRINT LEN("0099.900");      ! Returns 8
PRINT LEN(CHAR(960));       ! Returns 1
PRINT LEN("");              ! Returns 0

See Also