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Special characters and text fields

Yesterday I was fixing a bug in one of our customization projects. There was a web form with some input fields. The bug was, when you enter some text in a text field with double quotes (“) data is not saving properly. Actually, the problem was in updating the records. All the characters that is there after the first double quote is truncated. Actually, the fix was very simple. This is something that you may find in any HTML based user interface, and you can fix this within few seconds if you know the exact reason for the bug. The reason for the bug is explained bellow.

In a text field for example, say, we enter a value like – abc”de. Then, you save the form and send this to the data base. Now the value – abc”de – is in a row of a database table, that's okay. After that, if you go to edit the same record, you can see that value in the text field as – abc. The part after the double quote is missing. Usually, in a text box, value is kept in the “value” attribute within double quotes. After we keep some value that contains double quotes, within the value attribute of a input tag, it should looks like given below.

This thing happens only when you get the value from a database table. If you type it manually in the text box, there will be the relevant HTML entities for the double quotes. That should looks like given below.


To fix the bug, what we should do is to replace the special characters such as double quotes from the values taken from database. In languages like PHP, this is really simple. You can just use a function such as “htmlentities()”. See the code given below.


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