How to insert a line break in a SQL Server VARCHAR/NVARCHAR string

600

I didn't see any similar questions asked on this topic, and I had to research this for something I'm working on right now. Thought I would post the answer for it in case anyone else had the same question.

This question is tagged with sql sql-server line-breaks

~ Asked on 2008-08-27 19:53:01

11 Answers


300

I found the answer here: http://blog.sqlauthority.com/2007/08/22/sql-server-t-sql-script-to-insert-carriage-return-and-new-line-feed-in-code/

You just concatenate the string and insert a CHAR(13) where you want your line break.

Example:

DECLARE @text NVARCHAR(100)
SET @text = 'This is line 1.' + CHAR(13) + 'This is line 2.'
SELECT @text

This prints out the following:

This is line 1.
This is line 2.

~ Answered on 2008-08-27 19:55:42


631

char(13) is CR. For DOS-/Windows-style CRLF linebreaks, you want char(13)+char(10), like:

'This is line 1.' + CHAR(13)+CHAR(10) + 'This is line 2.'

~ Answered on 2008-08-27 20:25:14


94

Another way to do this is as such:

INSERT CRLF SELECT 'fox 
jumped'

That is, simply inserting a line break in your query while writing it will add the like break to the database. This works in SQL server Management studio and Query Analyzer. I believe this will also work in C# if you use the @ sign on strings.

string str = @"INSERT CRLF SELECT 'fox 
    jumped'"

~ Answered on 2009-02-14 15:30:24


27

Run this in SSMS, it shows how line breaks in the SQL itself become part of string values that span lines :

PRINT 'Line 1
Line 2
Line 3'
PRINT ''

PRINT 'How long is a blank line feed?'
PRINT LEN('
')
PRINT ''

PRINT 'What are the ASCII values?'
PRINT ASCII(SUBSTRING('
',1,1))
PRINT ASCII(SUBSTRING('
',2,1))

Result :
Line 1
Line 2
Line 3

How long is a blank line feed?
2

What are the ASCII values?
13
10

Or if you'd rather specify your string on one line (almost!) you could employ REPLACE() like this (optionally use CHAR(13)+CHAR(10) as the replacement) :

PRINT REPLACE('Line 1`Line 2`Line 3','`','
')

~ Answered on 2015-09-17 15:13:05


17

Following a Google...

Taking the code from the website:

CREATE TABLE CRLF
    (
        col1 VARCHAR(1000)
    )

INSERT CRLF SELECT 'The quick [email protected]'
INSERT CRLF SELECT 'fox @jumped'
INSERT CRLF SELECT '@over the '
INSERT CRLF SELECT '[email protected]'

SELECT col1 FROM CRLF

Returns:

col1
-----------------
The quick [email protected]
fox @jumped
@over the
[email protected]

(4 row(s) affected)


UPDATE CRLF
SET col1 = REPLACE(col1, '@', CHAR(13))

Looks like it can be done by replacing a placeholder with CHAR(13)

Good question, never done it myself :)

~ Answered on 2008-08-27 19:56:30


13

All of these options work depending on your situation, but you may not see any of them work if you're using SSMS (as mentioned in some comments SSMS hides CR/LFs)

So rather than driving yourself round the bend, Check this setting in

Tools | Options

which will replace the

~ Answered on 2019-12-05 07:03:47


12

I got here because I was concerned that cr-lfs that I specified in C# strings were not being shown in SQl Server Management Studio query responses.

It turns out, they are there, but are not being displayed.

To "see" the cr-lfs, use the print statement like:

declare @tmp varchar(500)    
select @tmp = msgbody from emailssentlog where id=6769;
print @tmp

~ Answered on 2013-11-26 16:40:24


6

I'd say

concat('This is line 1.', 0xd0a, 'This is line 2.')

or

concat(N'This is line 1.', 0xd000a, N'This is line 2.')

~ Answered on 2019-01-04 15:48:55


4

Here's a C# function that prepends a text line to an existing text blob, delimited by CRLFs, and returns a T-SQL expression suitable for INSERT or UPDATE operations. It's got some of our proprietary error handling in it, but once you rip that out, it may be helpful -- I hope so.

/// <summary>
/// Generate a SQL string value expression suitable for INSERT/UPDATE operations that prepends
/// the specified line to an existing block of text, assumed to have \r\n delimiters, and
/// truncate at a maximum length.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="sNewLine">Single text line to be prepended to existing text</param>
/// <param name="sOrigLines">Current text value; assumed to be CRLF-delimited</param>
/// <param name="iMaxLen">Integer field length</param>
/// <returns>String: SQL string expression suitable for INSERT/UPDATE operations.  Empty on error.</returns>
private string PrependCommentLine(string sNewLine, String sOrigLines, int iMaxLen)
{
    String fn = MethodBase.GetCurrentMethod().Name;

    try
    {
        String [] line_array = sOrigLines.Split("\r\n".ToCharArray());
        List<string> orig_lines = new List<string>();
        foreach(String orig_line in line_array) 
        { 
            if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(orig_line))  
            {  
                orig_lines.Add(orig_line);    
            }
        } // end foreach(original line)

        String final_comments = "'" + sNewLine + "' + CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) ";
        int cum_length = sNewLine.Length + 2;
        foreach(String orig_line in orig_lines)
        {
            String curline = orig_line;
            if (cum_length >= iMaxLen) break;                // stop appending if we're already over
            if ((cum_length+orig_line.Length+2)>=iMaxLen)    // If this one will push us over, truncate and warn:
            {
                Util.HandleAppErr(this, fn, "Truncating comments: " + orig_line);
                curline = orig_line.Substring(0, iMaxLen - (cum_length + 3));
            }
            final_comments += " + '" + curline + "' + CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) \r\n";
            cum_length += orig_line.Length + 2;
        } // end foreach(second pass on original lines)

        return(final_comments);


    } // end main try()
    catch(Exception exc)
    {
        Util.HandleExc(this,fn,exc);
        return("");
    }
}

~ Answered on 2010-03-04 19:11:27


3

This is always cool, because when you get exported lists from, say Oracle, then you get records spanning several lines, which in turn can be interesting for, say, cvs files, so beware.

Anyhow, Rob's answer is good, but I would advise using something else than @, try a few more, like §§@@§§ or something, so it will have a chance for some uniqueness. (But still, remember the length of the varchar/nvarchar field you are inserting into..)

~ Answered on 2008-08-27 20:26:57


1

In some special cases you may find this useful (e.g. rendering cell-content in MS Report )
example:

select * from 
(
values
    ('use STAGING'),
    ('go'),
    ('EXEC sp_MSforeachtable 
@command1=''select ''''?'''' as tablename,count(1) as anzahl from  ? having count(1) = 0''')
) as t([Copy_and_execute_this_statement])
go

~ Answered on 2020-06-15 08:47:01


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