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using ellipses to truncate data in a cell

Posted on 2008-10-04
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have a  td cell that shows data from a 1000 character input text box.
Can I display this:

<td>Display only the first 100 characters of a ....</td>

instead of

<td>Display all 1000 characters etc, etc.</td>

by automatically inserting an ellipses after a certain number of characters?

<table class="records">
<tr>
        <th>q1</th>
        <th>q2</th>
</tr>
<?
 
mysql_select_db($database_athconn, $athconn);
$query = "SELECT * FROM results";
$result = mysql_query($query, $athconn);
$num = mysql_numrows($result);
mysql_close();
$i=0;
while ($i < $num)
{
        $field1= mysql_result($result,$i,"q1");
        $field2= mysql_result($result,$i,"q2");
 
echo "<tr><td>$field1</td><td>$field2</td></tr>";
 
$i++;
}
 
?>
</table>

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Question by:seanpowell
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13 Comments
 
LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:hielo
ID: 22641224

while ($i < $num)
{
        $field1= mysql_result($result,$i,"q1");
        $field2= mysql_result($result,$i,"q2");
 	$field1=preg_replace('\S+$','...',substr($field1,0,100));
 	$field2=preg_replace('\S+$','...',substr($field2,0,100));
echo "<tr><td>$field1</td><td>$field2</td></tr>";
 
$i++;
}

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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 22641950
You can use substr - it is simpler code and might be a bit faster than REGEX (however I have not tested it for speed).

If you need a function to break on word boundaries, please post back here and I'll give you the one I use for "teasers" after the article headlines.

Best, ~Ray
while ($i < $num)
{
        $field1= substr(mysql_result($result,$i,"q1"),0,100) . '...';
        $field2= substr(mysql_result($result,$i,"q2"),0,100) . '...';
 
echo "<tr><td>$field1</td><td>$field2</td></tr>";
 
$i++;
}

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Author Comment

by:seanpowell
ID: 22642281
Well that's a tough call - I think both will likely work for me.
The only problem is that a blank record still returns the ellipses.

Thanks guys,
Sean
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LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:hielo
ID: 22642384
>>You can use substr
The "problem" with that is that the ellipsis are likely to start right in the middle of a word. My suggestion makes sure that the ellipsis starts right after a word.

>>The only problem is that a blank record still returns the ellipses.
try the attached code:
while ($i < $num)
{
        $field1= trim(mysql_result($result,$i,"q1"));
        $field2= trim(mysql_result($result,$i,"q2"));
	   if( strlen($field1) > 100 )
 		$field1=preg_replace('\S+$','...',substr($field1,0,100));
	   if( strlen($field2) > 100 )
 		$field2=preg_replace('\S+$','...',substr($field2,0,100));
echo "<tr><td>$field1</td><td>$field2</td></tr>";
 
$i++;
}

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Author Comment

by:seanpowell
ID: 22644324
Thanks hielo - I believe that is returning blank cells instead of any content.
0
 
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Assisted Solution

by:hielo
hielo earned 50 total points
ID: 22644951
sorry, this:
'\S+$'

should have been:
'#\S+$#'

while ($i < $num)
{
        $field1= trim(mysql_result($result,$i,"q1"));
        $field2= trim(mysql_result($result,$i,"q2"));
         if( strlen($field1) > 100 )
             $field1=preg_replace('#\S+$#','...',substr($field1,0,100));
         if( strlen($field2) > 100 )
             $field2=preg_replace('#\S+$#','...',substr($field2,0,100));
echo "<tr><td>$field1</td><td>$field2</td></tr>";
 
$i++;
}


IF tha still does not work try this:
while ($i < $num)
{
        $field1= mysql_result($result,$i,"q1");
        $field2= mysql_result($result,$i,"q2");
 	$field1=preg_replace('#\S+$#','...',substr($field1,0,100));
 	$field2=preg_replace('#\S+$#','...',substr($field2,0,100));
	
	if( $field1=="..."){$field1="";}
	if( $field2=="..."){$field2="";}
echo "<tr><td>$field1</td><td>$field2</td></tr>";
 
$i++;
}

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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 22644969
Here is the function that I use - sorry I could not get back to post sooner, but hope it's still helpful to you. ~Ray
/* ************************************************************************** */
// RETURN FIRST FEW WHOLE WORDS FOLLOWED BY ELLIPSES
// $length IS MINIMUM TRUNCATION CHARACTER COUNT
function teaser_fragment($text, $length=32) {
	if (strlen($text) < $length) {
return $text; }
 
	$x = 0;
	while ($x == 0) {
		if (substr($text,$length,1) == ' ') { $x = 1; } else { $length++; }
	}
	$text = substr($text,0,$length) . "...";
return $text;
}
/* ************************************************************************** */

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Author Comment

by:seanpowell
ID: 22649106
hielo - I'm sorry, that doesn't work as expected, it only adds ellipses if the count is reached in the middle of a word.

Ray - I guess I'm putting the 2 functions together incorrectly? I like the simplicity of the code...
function teaser_fragment($text, $length=32) {
        if (strlen($text) < $length) {
return $text; }
 
        $x = 0;
        while ($x == 0) {
                if (substr($text,$length,1) == ' ') { $x = 1; } else { $length++; }
        }
        $text = substr($text,0,$length) . "...";
return $text;
}
 
while ($i < $num)
{
        $field1= substr(mysql_result($result,$i,"q1"),0,100) . '...';
        $field2= substr(mysql_result($result,$i,"q2"),0,100) . '...';
 
echo "<tr><td>$field1</td><td>$field2</td></tr>";
 
$i++;
}

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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 22649876
You might want to ACTUALLY CALL THE FUNCTION!  ;-)

Try this and see if it doesn't get you where you want to go.  You may have to tinker with the length parameter (presently default = 32 and your setting = 100).  You might decrease it to 96, etc. just to get the best looking output.

Best, ~Ray
function teaser_fragment($text, $length=32) {
        if (strlen($text) < $length) {
return $text; }
 
        $x = 0;
        while ($x == 0) {
                if (substr($text,$length,1) == ' ') { $x = 1; } else { $length++; }
        }
        $text = substr($text,0,$length) . "...";
return $text;
}
 
while ($i < $num)
{
        $field1= teaser_fragment(mysql_result($result,$i,"q1"),100);
        $field2= teaser_fragment(mysql_result($result,$i,"q2"),100);
 
echo "<tr><td>$field1</td><td>$field2</td></tr>";
 
$i++;
}

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Author Comment

by:seanpowell
ID: 22649990
Yes - that might help...

The db is timing out arounf row 9 - in your experience is there anything in that code that may cause that to happen?
0
 
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Author Comment

by:seanpowell
ID: 22650086
Displays correctly again once the code is removed.
<?php require_once('Connections/athconn.php'); ?>
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">
</head>
<body>
 
<table class="records">
	<tr>
		<th>#</th>
		<th>q1</th>
		<th>q2</th>
		<th>q3</th>
	</tr>
 
<?
mysql_select_db($database_athconn, $athconn);
$query = "SELECT * FROM results";
$result = mysql_query($query, $athconn);
$num = mysql_numrows($result);
mysql_close();
$i=0;
function teaser_fragment($text, $length=32) {
        if (strlen($text) < $length) {
return $text; }
        $x = 0;
        while ($x == 0) {
                if (substr($text,$length,1) == ' ') { $x = 1; } else { $length++; }
        }
        $text = substr($text,0,$length) . "...";
return $text;
}
 
while ($i < $num) {
	$field1= mysql_result($result,$i,"q1");
	$field2= teaser_fragment(mysql_result($result,$i,"q2"),96);
	$field3= teaser_fragment(mysql_result($result,$i,"q3"),96);
	$i++;
	echo "<tr>";
	echo "<td>$i</td><td>$field1</td><td>$field2</td><td>$field3</td>";
	echo "</tr>";
}
?>
</table>
 
</body>
</html>

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Accepted Solution

by:
Ray Paseur earned 450 total points
ID: 22650182
Well, if there is never a blank at the end of the input, it will loop infinitely.  Let's try this modified function (my original is too dependent on my data).
function teaser_fragment($text, $length=32) {
        if (strlen($text) < $length) {
return $text; }
 
// ADD A BLANK AT THE END TO FORCE STOP
        $text .= ' ';
        $x = 0;
        while ($x == 0) {
                if (substr($text,$length,1) == ' ') { $x = 1; } else { $length++; }
        }
        $text = substr($text,0,$length) . "...";
return $text;
}

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Author Comment

by:seanpowell
ID: 22650338
Thank you guys - all is working perfectly now. The fragment seems to be a really nice way to handle that.
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