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A wildcard (`') may be used in many places to indicate `any' or `all' for numeric values. In alphanumeric values the wildcards (`' or `%') may be used to replace part of the character string by any character. The difference between `' and `%' is that `' can indicate a character string of any length, including zero length, while `%' stands for one character only. For example, `%%A' indicates all three-character strings with an A as last character, while `A' may have any length, and includes `A' itself.
Wildcards may not be used in values of code items (table ).
Blanks are not considered as delimiters. In many places they are ignored, in numeric values they are not allowed. Blanks in alphanumeric values specified by the user are considered significant, blanks in alphanumeric strings stored in the Observations Catalogue are not. Thus, specifying a blank in an alphanumeric string will find a match only if that blank is also present in the catalogue item considered, whereas an alphanumeric string without blanks will match a catalogue item even if the catalogue item does have a blank or blanks in it.