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Need some help with line breaks in MySQL database.

Posted on 2007-11-16
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Last Modified: 2013-12-13
I created a simple IT helpdesk for my companies Intranet page.  My question is how can I send the text field to the MySQL database and preserve the line breaks?  For example..

If I put some text
in my text box, it

looks like this by hitting
the enter key.

When I display the text field on the records page it all comes out as one paragraph.  If I put <br /> in the text box at each line break then its correct but I dont want my computer illiterate coworks to have to remember to do that for each line break.  Can anyone help?  I am using Dreamweaver CS3 to generate the code if that matters to anyone.

Thanks for any help!
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Question by:graphxdiva
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12 Comments
 
LVL 21

Accepted Solution

by:
nizsmo earned 400 total points
ID: 20297636
for some variable in php, you can do this:

echo nl2br($my_string);

where $my_string is the string which you want the transformation of newline to <br> to take place.
Try it out, it should be what you are looking for.
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LVL 20

Assisted Solution

by:steelseth12
steelseth12 earned 100 total points
ID: 20297643
The new lines are preserved but because you are displaying html you need to put the <br> tag
What you can do is when you output the information instead of doing

echo $mytext;

do

echo nl2br($mytext);

this will convert all line breaks to <br> tags
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:nizsmo
ID: 20297644
As a brief example below to demonstrate how to use the function.
Essentially when the "enter" key is pressed, a newline is inserted and represented by \n.
<?php
echo nl2br("foo isn't\n bar");
?>
 
// outputs foo isn't<br /> bar

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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Aleksandar Bradarić
ID: 20297648
>  If I put <br /> in the text box

You've got a `nl2br()` function for PHP which does that for you. You can also take look at `addslashes()` and `stripslashes()` functions.
0
 

Author Comment

by:graphxdiva
ID: 20297733
Great nl2br worked.  One last question..  If the person hits enter/return twice to leave an empty line, the form strips the empty line prior to putting it into the DB, how can I stop that so the empty line remains?
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:nizsmo
ID: 20297817
hmm it shouldn't do. it should be stored into the database ok, as it shouldn't strip the empty line (it should preserve it).
0
 

Author Comment

by:graphxdiva
ID: 20297842
No if I create a new or edit an existing record.. in my text field enter

some

text

it displays

some
text

0
 
LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:nizsmo
ID: 20297964
i did a quick test, and it preserves this, but i was using the TEXT field type for my database field. Is this what you are using?
0
 

Author Comment

by:graphxdiva
ID: 20298143
You mean text as your datatype in the table?  I was at medium text, switched to text and same thing.
0
 

Author Comment

by:graphxdiva
ID: 20300693
Well I created a new db to test it on again and it worked as you said.. Not sure why it didnt on the other but oh well.  Thanks for your help!
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:nizsmo
ID: 20302451
weird thing! no problems glad to help :)
0
 

Expert Comment

by:skellstaff
ID: 25279413
I have the same problem in my database. The fields are also type text. After using nl2br, I get both newlines and <br /> entries in the database and this causes the html code to break when drawn from the database table. I found that the extra newlines, on new data entry, went away when using type char or varchar as the database field type.
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