Apologies, the script was right - but the data was wrong - I had lots of white space 
at the end of each string, i have used rtrim to solve this:
$DB_ref = rtrim($DB_ref," ");

$DB_temp_ref = $DB_ref;


        -----Original Message----- 
        From: James Meers 
        Sent: Fri 06/02/2004 21:32 
        To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
        Subject: [PHP-DB] substr() problems

        Hi all,
        I am trying to use substr() negative start, but I get nothing returned - if i 
do a positive start then i do get something back, below is my code and a line of what 
i get returned:
        $DB_ref = "210020007";
        $DB_temp_ref = $DB_ref;
        $DB_sub_ref = substr($DB_temp_ref , 0, 1);
        $DB_sub_ref .= substr($DB_temp_ref , 1, 1);
        $DB_sub_ref .= substr($DB_temp_ref , -1, 1);
        echo "$DB_sub_ref - $DB_ref";
        "21 - 210020007"
        note: 210020007 is an example this is actually within a while statement using 
mysql_fetch_array from a SQL query - all results are not returning the negative string.
        Can anyone help?
        PHP Version 4.3.3
        Apache/2.0.47 (Fedora)
        Many thanks in advance,

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