# Less than (<)

## Overview

Use the symbol<to notate the inequality 'less than'.

For example:

*A < B*

means:

*A is less than B*

## Details

The expressions*a*and

*b*in the inequality

*a < b*should be substituted by any of the following:

- a fixed text string, for example

*hypertension*

- a fixed numerical value, for example

*12.3*, also valid is

*12,3*

- a global variable, for example

*$hour$*

- any other variable or variable parameter, for example

*$Design.Constant 1.Value$*, or

*$BirthDate$*.

Variables are substituted by their current values at the time the inequality is processed. Spaces around the expressions are trimmed automatically.

The way the inequality is solved depends on the type of its expressions:

**Both expressions are numbers**

The inequality is handled according to numerical rules.

**Both expressions are textual**

If a text string is to be compared to another text string, then comparison is handled in an ordinal fashion like is used for alphabetic (lexical) sorting.

For example:

*a < b*evaluates to TRUE, because the letter

*b*lexically follows on the letter

*a*.

*Peter < Pete*evaluates to FALSE, because lexically Peter follows on Pete.

*HELLO < hello*evaluates to TRUE, because capitals are listed before non-capitals.

*a10 < a2*evaluates to TRUE, because the character 2 is listed after the character 1 (!).

**One of both expressions is textual, the other is a number**

If one of both expressions is a text, then the other expression is also handled like text.