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Prevent textboxes from being auto-trimmed

Posted on 2006-07-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I've created a function on one of my continuous database forms that filters the results as you type in a textbox (using the onChange event).  The problem here is that when the event fires, it seems to momentarily cause the textbox to lose focus, which then has all spaces trimmed from the beginning and end of the box.  Because of this, a user cannot filter by more than one word because everytime a space is typed, it just disappears when the change event fires.

Does anyone know how to either: stop the onChange event from firing when a space is typed, prevent the textbox from losing focus, or stop Access from auto-trimming the field?

Thanks.
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Question by:RandomPsychology
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12 Comments
 
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by:peter57r
ID: 17154566
Hi RandomPsychology,

I'd be quite surprised if Access was trimming on its own. Are you sure you don't have a Trim() function in your code?


Pete
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by:RandomPsychology
ID: 17154601
Quite sure.  Try it yourself.  Once focus leaves a field, all spaces on the end are trimmed.
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Expert Comment

by:harfang
ID: 17154720
Hello Random,

Yes, this is how Access treats all text input. Trailing spaces are removed.

You do no want to prevent the on change event from firing, because that is the event you use, in fact. What you need to do is not leave the control at all. As long as the focus remains in the control, you can type anything you like.

Perhaps you can post here the code you use, and we can tweak it so that you do not need to mangle with the control focus?

Cheers!
(°v°)
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by:peter57r
ID: 17154761
It doesn't do the trim in A2003.
What version are you using?

(I agree that when you exit the control Access will trim, by the way)

Pete
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by:RandomPsychology
ID: 17154872
I'm using Access 2003 (database version is Access 2000 format)

Here's the code that runs when the onChange event fires.

Private Sub txtSearchDesc_Change()
    On Error Resume Next
    If Me.txtSearchDesc = "" Then
        GlobalFilter(4) = ""
    Else
        GlobalFilter(4) = "[BlockDesc] Like '*" & Me.txtSearchDesc & "*'"
    End If
    Call WriteFilter
    Me.txtSearchDesc.SelStart = Len(Me.txtSearchDesc)
End Sub
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by:peter57r
ID: 17155047

Looks like you are using a bound textbox then - i hadn't expected that, but I don't think it changes anything.
If you temporarily comment out your procedure and use:

Private Sub txtSearchDesc_Change()
    msgbox len(me.txtsearchdsc.text)
End Sub

 You will see that spaces stay in the mix until you exit the textbox.

Therefore as markus suggests, you current code must cause the focus to shift and when it shifts it does the trim.

Yiu need to look at WriteFilter.

Pete
 
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by:RandomPsychology
ID: 17155247
I'll paste the code for WriteFilter too, but basically it's the method that causes the form to update based on the typed text.  

Private Sub WriteFilter()
    Dim FilterString As String
    Dim i As Integer
   
    For i = 0 To UBound(GlobalFilter)
        If Not FilterString = "" And Not GlobalFilter(i) = "" Then
            FilterString = FilterString + " AND "
        End If
       
        FilterString = FilterString + GlobalFilter(i)
    Next i
   
    If FilterString = "" Then
        Me.Form.FilterOn = False
    Else
        Me.Form.Filter = FilterString
        Me.Form.FilterOn = True
    End If
End Sub

As you can see, it doesn't shift the focus by any commands, unless the focus gets shifted when the form is filtered.  I also tried checking for a space " " at the end of the textbox and immediately exiting the sub if one was found (that is the onChange event subroutine), but that didn't work either, because it seems that either the space got trimmed out when brought into the subroutine, or the textbox doesn't "officially" add the character to the string until after the event completes (if that makes any sense whatsoever).

Anybody have some more ideas?
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Accepted Solution

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harfang earned 125 total points
ID: 17155677
Ah, well. It doesn't touch the focus as such, but it does enforce a new filter. When that happens, the current control exits an enters again. I think there is no way to obtain what you want.

Typically, this sort of things would be done on a subform from the main form, or perhaps from an unbound control for a listbox.l However, you cannot do that from a control to the current form.

Sorry, you will have to redesign your form. Probably as a subform from a mainform containing all your "tools", including txtSearchDesc.

Good luck!
(°v°)
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Expert Comment

by:dannywareham
ID: 17163200
Although you can't filter a form, you can use it to filter a listbox.

The user could then select a record from teh listbox and see the rest of that records "details".

Does that make sense?

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by:RandomPsychology
ID: 17176141
Yes, I thought about doing that, but it isn't really what I'm looking for.  I want to do a 'live-search' feature kindof like the one in the newer versions of Outlook
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by:RandomPsychology
ID: 17177970
I did some redesign of my form (moving the data into a subform and putting my filter fields on the main form) and solved the problem.  I appreciate all the good comments, but I think the credit for this solution should go to harfang.  I guess this proves that "Live Filtering" is attainable in MS Access!!  Thanks everyone!
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Expert Comment

by:harfang
ID: 17182124
Glad to help, good luck with your project!
(°v°)
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