Ignore the font/size in an HTML field

Monday 4 December 2023 @ 10:39 am

A customer Emailed me a report that had a ‘Comment’ field. The field in the application allows the text to be formatted by the user, so they can specify the font, the size, make words bold, etc. The application stores these properties in HTML. The report uses HTML interpretation to display the comments in the appropriate format.

The customer asked if the report could ignore the HTML font and have all of the comments appear in Arial 9. He had tried choosing the font in the report, but with HTML interpretation turned on his choice was ignored. Turning off the HTML interpretation would expose the raw HTML in the output.

My first attempt worked in most cases. I wrote a formula that searched for the font size tag and replaced the number after it with a 9. This worked fine if there was only one font instance in the comment, but then I found comments with multiple instances. I would have had to write a loop to do it as many times as needed.

Then I wondered what would happen if I simply eliminated the words “font-size” from the entire comment. I wrote the following formula:

replace ( {tbl_abc.Comments}, 'font-size:', '' )

The result showed me I did not have to remove the entire tag. HTML is apparently forgiving enough to ignore any tag it doesn’t understand. Removing that key part of the tag meant the HTML engine no longer knew what to change so it skipped that tag. I did the same thing with [font-family] by using a nested replace and that allowed HTML interpretation to still work for other properties but not assign  font properties:


That allowed me to specify any font or size I wanted in the report.

(For examples of my most popular formulas, please visit the FORMULAS page on my website.)

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