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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    RTF textbox in a web form

    I have been working on a fairly complex reporting tool and they want me to set up a backend reporting/tracking system for handling the information gathered by the system. One aspect of the system is the ability to output final reports in PDF but there is a need to be able to do things like italics, different margins, bold, bullets, etc. -- basically, things that require more text formatting options than a simple textbox can provide. Ideally, after typing and setting up the formatting in the webform, the user then submits the data to SQL Server via UPDATE and then outputs the PDF file. I am sceptical that this can be done using native HTML web controls and was wondering if there's some way to implement this kind of text formatting in a webform. I *must* be able to store and redisplay information in and out of the DB in order to ensure that the report information is up to date on the db.

    Any ideas?

    TIA <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20>

  2. #2
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    Re: RTF textbox in a web form

    Try Googling for WYSIWYG textbox asp. You'll find quite a few. The only components of this nature that I have experience with are written with (and intended to be used in) ASP.NET.

    I will offer another thought that I've learned along the way. Most of these WYSIWYG textboxes output HTML, which is fine for storing in a database. But you have to be careful with the output to PDF to make sure that you provide means necessary to display the text properly. I was able to work around this by implementing a HTML to RTF converter I found on the Code Project site. Let me know if you're interested an I'll post a link directly to that (buying me some time to locate it...) <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

  3. #3
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    Re: RTF textbox in a web form

    thanks! I found something that may work -- something called htmlarea that is lightweight and does most of what I want. Natively the PDF produced shows all the html markup but I am working on one thing at a time right now. The nice thing about the formatting with the widget I am messing with is the output looks good on a webpage. There is an issue of preserving text markup for people who will be using the on-line system and also there is the potential problem of a PDF template not being able to handle a lot of text in a form field. there is also the problem that I know almost nothing about the PDF output sw I am trying to use. there is also the problem that they want 'a product' REAL soon.

    For my preferences, if you can store and retrieved text with markup (HTML is fine for now) then the output -- even if it's a webpage -- is not terribly terribly horrible. If I start drifting into giving people edit options that don't read back to the db, that's *much* more of a problem than dealing with a not-absolutely-lovely output. PDF, if properly handled, can certainly be lovely. The ingredients are all here but Mr Learning Curve is also walking about.

    Well, the widget is doing alright for the moment, although it seems to be a bit shy and tends to disappear if I try anything odd code-wise. hopefully I can start to play with it a little better over the next few days. the office is moving on Friday so my productivity is likely to be low...

    Anyway, thanks for the handy-dandy Google search string!
    <img src=/S/aussie.gif border=0 alt=aussie width=21 height=22>

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