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Show only X many letters PHP

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i have a band show CMS that connects to a DB. in the admin panel I have the code that displays the show venue and with the modify link only.. i don't want the whole venue name displayed all i want is 10 letters of it to be displayed.. can this be done?

this is the admin show view code:
              $db = mysql_connect($dbhost,$dbuser,$dbpass);
              mysql_select_db($dbname) or die("Cannot connect to database");
              $query = "SELECT * FROM band_shows ORDER BY id";
              $result = mysql_query($query);
                echo "<ul>\n";
                while ($r = mysql_fetch_array($result)) {
                  echo "<li><a href=\"admin.php?page=newsmodify&amp;id=$r[id]\">$r[venue]</a></li>\n";
                echo "</ul>\n";


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http://ca.php.net/manual/en/function.substr.php - the substring function

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