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Thanks Jerry, simply changing that field from "text" to "number" worked immediately (I backed up the file first of course).
One problem I'll have to consider: a bunch of my records had other than numbers in that field and those get deleted.
Example: database of book numbers, where some of the "numbers" aren't just numbers, but might say something like "Vol. 1". I'll have to consider changing these records before I make the change in the original file.

But the idea of simply changing the field format from text to number is inspired! So easy. Kind of obvious, but apparently not for me!
Thanks.
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