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I have a field named "ZIP" which has the zip code information for numerous records. Some of them have 9 numbers, but I only want them to have the first 5. What should my Pre-Logic Script look like to Field Calculate removing the last 4 numbers in this field?

Here is an image of the Field Calculator and the field:

enter image description here

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  • In python you can use the simple expression: !ZIP![0:4]. No code block necessary.
    – Jyler
    Apr 13, 2016 at 16:23
  • I agree, but this is giving me a geoprocessing error. Apr 13, 2016 at 16:44
  • Got your radio button switched to Python? Also, don't include that period after the ].
    – Jyler
    Apr 13, 2016 at 16:45
  • Yes and I did not include the period. Apr 13, 2016 at 16:49
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    Is ZIP a field alias by chance? Or conversely, you might disable your code block.
    – Jyler
    Apr 13, 2016 at 17:57

2 Answers 2

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Use the string indices. Instead of creating a whole function, just do something like:

!ZIP![:5] --> basically grab everything from 0 index up to but not including the 5th index.

So it only grabs the indices 0,1,2,3,4.

Check out this tutorial for more information.

If there are more than 5 it will just grab the first 5. If there are 5 exact, it will grab them.

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    in the field calculator it'll probably be something like !ZIP![:5] I think
    – Midavalo
    Apr 13, 2016 at 18:28
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If the field is numeric, Python expression:

!zip![:4]

will fail.

It is easier to use vb script option:

left([zip],5)

This will populate output field of numeric and text type.

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  • That's it! It is not a string, so that python expression does not work. Thanks! Apr 13, 2016 at 20:24
  • It will work with some modification, e.g. if output field is numeric it's going to be float(str(!ZIP)[:4])
    – FelixIP
    Apr 13, 2016 at 20:30

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