### Text Fields Vs. Numeric Fields

There are basically three types of entry fields in RTA: date, numeric, and text. Date fields only accept valid dates and are sorted in date order. Numeric fields only accept numbers 0-9 and are sorted in numeric order. Text fields are alphanumeric and accept numbers 0-9, letters A-Z, letters a-z, and special characters.

# Understanding the Collating Sequence

Date fields are sorted in date order and numeric fields are sorted in numeric order-this is easy to understand. Sorts are trickier for text fields, but not once you understand how it works. The general collating sequence for text fields is:

Low ......................................................................…................................................. High

[space\]!"#\$%&'()*+,-./ 0 through 9 :;<=>?@ A through Z \[\\]^_` a through z \{|\}~

Notice that most characters are on the low end of the scale, with the space character being the lowest. On the number scale 0 comes before 9; therefore 0 is less than 9. Likewise, the letter A comes before Z; therefore, A is less than Z. When it comes to computer sorting sequences, keep in mind that numbers are lower than letters, and uppercase letters are lower than lowercase letters. This sequence has some major implications in the way you "number" vehicles, departments, customers, parts, tires, equipment, and pumps. For example, any vehicle starting with 1 will be less than any vehicle starting with 9. This means that not only are vehicles 1 and 2 displayed or printed before vehicle 9, but vehicle 1999 will also come before vehicle 9 because the first character in 1999 is less than the first character in 9. ABC123 comes before abc123 because ABC123 starts with uppercase letters. If there are 200 vehicles in your fleet and you want them listed in "numeric" order, you'd need to use leading zeroes, numbering the vehicles from 001 to 200; if you have 2000 vehicles in your fleet, you'd need to number your vehicles from 0001 to 2000.

 Numeric Fields Text Fields Text Fields Using Leading Zeroes 1 1 0001 2 1999 0002 9 2 0009 1999 9 1999 N/A ABC123 ABC123 N/A abc123 abc123

Sample sorting outputs of text and numeric fields