How do I use substring in xsl?

Posted on 2013-01-15
Last Modified: 2013-01-18

I have the below xsl code:

<xsl:value-of select="substring(@Description,1,250)" disable-output-escaping="yes" />
<xsl:if test="string-length(@Description) &gt; 250">...</xsl:if>

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This displays the first 250 characters of the description, and "..." if there are more characters in the description than being displayed. How can I alter this so only 50 characters are displayed? When I changed both instances of "250" to "50" no text was shown?

Question by:aspnet-scotland
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Expert Comment

by:Geert Bormans
ID: 38780444
well, did you not change anything else?

changing 250 to 50 in both instances is the way to go

maybe you only have spaces in the first 50 chars?
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Expert Comment

by:Geert Bormans
ID: 38780456
maybe you need to tell us what happens next to the result of this XSLT
Maybe you have a process in place that removes a text if not long enough

Bottomline as an answer to your question is
250 to 50 should work in this isolated case
but check what happens next

Author Comment

ID: 38780512
Strange....when I reduced it to "100" only around 20 characters were shown, I guess there must be white space hidden somewhere as firebug doesn't show anything?

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Accepted Solution

Geert Bormans earned 500 total points
ID: 38780545
Well, if it is bigger than 50, you should see the "..."

A browser does away with spurious white-space
A good test could be

<xsl:variable name="norm-desc" select="translate(normalize-space(@Description), ' ', '_')"/>
<xsl:value-of select="substring($norm-desc,1,250)" disable-output-escaping="yes" />
<xsl:if test="string-length($norm-desc) &gt; 250">...</xsl:if>

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This takes out all sequences of whitespace in favour of a single underscore
(if you leave out the normalize-space, you will see all spaces as underscore)

It will help you to guess the number of whitespace in your input

Author Comment

ID: 38782064
Thanks for your code. I can see that all whitespace have now been replaced with an underscore but no rogue whitespace seems to be present. I seem to have lost around 50 characters somewhere. Strange.

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Expert Comment

by:Geert Bormans
ID: 38782077
Maybe if you could post the source XML and the full stylesheet, that could help

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