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Standard Name Formatting Routine

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Names of people come in many separate parts, some of which can be not present or not known. The hassle begins if you are dealing with a storage system (database or otherwise) where the parts are stored separately. You are now faced with a formidable task of putting it all together and making sure that correct formatting is used.

A common mistake will format a person whose middle initial is not known as:

John . Doe instead of John Doe

However making it right requires some effort and there is no need to repeat it for every time. That's why I created the following functions:

public Function FormatName(firstname as string, _
                           lastname as string, _
                           optional mi as string, _
                           optional title as string, _
                           optional Suffix as string) as string

    If len(Trim$(title)) > 0 then
        FormatName = StrConv(title, vbProperCase)
        If Right$(FormatName, 1) <> "." then FormatName = _
           FormatName & "."
        FormatName = FormatName & " "
    End If

    If len(Trim$(firstname)) > 0 then
        FormatName = FormatName & StrConv(firstname, _
                     vbProperCase) & " "
    End If

    If len(Trim$(mi)) > 0 then
        FormatName = FormatName & StrConv(mi, vbProperCase)
        If Right$(FormatName, 1) <> "." then FormatName = _
           FormatName & "."
        FormatName = FormatName & " "
    End If

    If len(Trim$(lastname)) > 0 then
        FormatName = FormatName & StrConv(lastname, vbProperCase) _
                     & " "
    End If

    If len(Trim$(Suffix)) > 0 then
        FormatName = Trim$(FormatName) & ", " & StrConv(Suffix, _
                     vbProperCase)
    End If

    FormatName = Trim$(FormatName)

End Function

This function is similar to the one above, except that it puts the lastname first.

public Function FormatNameReverse(firstname as string, _
       lastname as string, _
       optional mi as string) as string

    FormatNameReverse = StrConv(lastname, vbProperCase)

    If len(Trim$(firstname)) > 0 Or len(Trim$(mi)) > 0 then
        FormatNameReverse = FormatNameReverse & ","
    End If

    If len(Trim$(firstname)) > 0 then
        FormatNameReverse = FormatNameReverse & " " & _
                            Trim$(StrConv(firstname, vbProperCase))
    End If

    If len(Trim$(mi)) > 0 then
        FormatNameReverse = FormatNameReverse & " " & _
                            Trim$(StrConv(Left$(mi, 1), _
                            vbProperCase)) & "."
    End If

    FormatNameReverse = Trim$(FormatNameReverse)

End Function


This article was originally published on February 7th, 2004

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