Improve company productivity with a Business Account.Sign Up

x
  • Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
  • Security: Public
  • Views: 1303
  • Last Modified:

How to Clean Word text pasted into a text box with PHP

I have a large text box. Users can type content into it, but many are creating their content in Word, or other programs, and pasting it into the text box. Especially with Word, I get some very unpredictable results.

For example, this was entered recently:
Even though we were never in one village for more than a day, or in one hospital for more than an afternoon, I�d find myself meeting children whom I�d form a bond with. . .. . . and so on

The � represents an apostrophe.

I strip the code of html entities, but how do I get rid of this type of garbage and replace it with the appropriate characters?

Also, line feeds from pasted documents are not predicable. Is there a way to tame them?

Thanks
0
birwin
Asked:
birwin
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
2 Solutions
 
PhatzerCommented:
I'm not sure if there is a PHP engine to do this an easier way, but if you don't mind going over Word submitted content to discover what represents what, then this should do the job:

You'd need to append each Word-submitted string to the top array, and it's replacement in the same position in the bottom array, I hope this makes sense.
// Word-submitted strings
$replaceVar = array(
	"�",
	"SOMETHING ELSE"
);
 
// Replacement content for above strings
$replaceVal = array(
	"'",
	"REPLACEMENT"
);
 
// Go through content and replace occurrences of Word-submitted content with specified replacement
$submittedContent = str_replace($replaceVar, $replaceVal, $submittedContent);

Open in new window

0
 
birwinAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your comment.
I realize that I can use str_replace as shown to clean known code, and I am currently using that for some common codes, but I keep getting new combinations that I haven't seen before. I assume that is because people paste from different versions of word, or perhaps from Open Office.
My hope was that there was some class that had a full library of the possible Word codes.
0
 
PhatzerCommented:
I've had a look around but I can't see much for this issue, it's so damn annoying that Microsoft has to throw in this metadata, but I'd guess it's to preserve formatting when pasting between Word applications. If you are patient enough to build a list of the annoying tags, then it will be worth it in the end I guess, but sorry i can't help you any more.
0
Get your problem seen by more experts

Be seen. Boost your question’s priority for more expert views and faster solutions

 
Ray PaseurCommented:
@birwin: This is a great question, and a screaming pain (thanks again MSFT).  You can tell people to post only plain text, but many clients will not know how to do that.  Suggest you ask the moderators to help you find a couple of other zones and add the question to those zones.  It deserves an answer because it is a problem we all face.  Best, ~Ray
0
 
birwinAuthor Commented:
I think I found the answer on another posting. I have applied it, and no garbage has come through since, although not a lot of postings have been made to test it.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web_Development/Web_Languages-Standards/PHP/Q_22810036.html?
 
0
 
Ray PaseurCommented:
That looks pretty good at first glance.  Glad you've found a solution!
0
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

Join & Write a Comment

Featured Post

Get your problem seen by more experts

Be seen. Boost your question’s priority for more expert views and faster solutions

  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
Tackle projects and never again get stuck behind a technical roadblock.
Join Now