I'm attempting to remove the store from my referral store number and was curious if anyone had any experience trimming anything after a space in a variable. For example I have a variable that equals Chicago 1111. I want to be able to automatically trim chicago off of the variable no matter how long the numbers are.

I currently am trying this.

String Ref = a.Referral_Store__c;

  if (a.Referral_Store__c != null) {
 Ref = a.Referral_Store__c.substringAfter(' ');

However I'm getting the error

caused by: System.NullPointerException: Attempt to de-reference a null object

  • 1
    What have you tried so far? Please edit this post to include include any attempts you have made and expected input/output combos.
    – Adrian Larson
    Aug 28, 2017 at 23:59
  • @AdrianLarson There, I updated my post using your suggestion and revised the order of the city and number as I had typed them in reverse. However, I'm getting a null object error. Aug 29, 2017 at 0:43
  • 1
    As written, the only place where you're capable of throwing the null pointer exception is if a is null when you're referencing Referral_Store__c from it.
    – Mark Pond
    Aug 29, 2017 at 0:47
  • @MarkPond Alright, great, I'll hunt through the code and see what I can find. Possible that it is just above the initiation of a. Aug 29, 2017 at 0:48
  • Change your if statement to: if (a!= null && a.Referral_Store__c != null) Aug 29, 2017 at 1:01

2 Answers 2


If you want to remove everything after the first occurrence of a specific character, I recommend using substringBefore:

String beforeFirstSpace = someInput.substringBefore(' ');

A string replace should do the trick:

String s = myString.replace('Chicago','');

You could also try something like this (for case insensitivity):

var endIndex = myString.indexOfIgnoreCase('Chicago');
String s = myString.substring(0, endIndex-1);
  • I think this might just work... I have a variable with each store location and should be able to put that variable where Chicago is and then replace it. Thanks so much, again. I'll let you know what I come up with. Aug 29, 2017 at 0:01

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