Monday, 10 November 2008

String type data inside gridview : Preserve extra spaces

Here’s my problem…
Very often we face a gridview "bug" that when we are saving the string data in the database just like this

"Sanjeev    sanjeev1    sanjeev2     sanjeev123" 
but when it is shown in the gridview it looks like this

" Sanjeev sanjeev1 sanjeev2 sanjeev123".

GridView eats up the multiple spaces. This is only because of the browser that parses HTML. For a browser “space” is nothing, it only considers the " " as space.

And we have a solution too…
If you want to keep your string type data inside gridview, with all the extra spaces that you have entered then there are some workarounds exist for it.

1. BoundField
In case if you are using the BoundField then define it in this way.

<asp:BoundField DataField="description" DataFormatString="<pre>{0}</pre>" HtmlEncode="False" />

There are two important properties of this field.
1. Keep the HtmlEncode=False
2. Inclose the DataFormatString inside the tag.

2. TemplateField
If you are using the TemplateField then define your template field in this way.

<asp:TemplateField ConvertEmptyStringToNull="False">
<pre ><asp:Label ID="Label1" runat="server" Text='<%# Bind("description") %>'></asp:Label></pre>

There is one important property that needs to set in this case.
1. Enclose your template control inside <pre></pre> tag (in above example I have enclosed the Label Control inside <pre></pre>

Save the HTML friendly spaces
If you don't want to enclose BoundField or the TemplateColumn inside the <pre></pre> tags then you have to manually change the space with HTML compatible space i.e. at the time while saving it in database.
A very simple way is to use the Replace function of string. Just like this.

String str =
"Testing    Testing1       Testing2     Testing123";

str.Replace(" ", " ");

If you liked this .....please drop ur valuable comments.. :)


  1. This is great and of good help.

  2. Thanks for your valuable information.

    It was really of use to me.


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  3. Thank you so much. This exactly what I wanted

  4. Thanks a lot, it was usefull for me.

  5. Thanks Dear Its really Help me lot...

    Keep it up : - Nilesh Shimpi..... :)

  6. i tried your asp:BoundField example. but it puts a box around the datafield. how do i get rid of the box?

    richard aquilo jr

  7. Very Helpful! Thank You!!!

  8. plz tell me how to maintain format of gridveiw after use Dataformatstring in databound column.
    When we apply Dataformatstring in my gridview
    it destroy my old gridview formating.

  9. it really helpful ,but still i have a problem that when i select this gridview information in a textbox it shows like this

    but i want only
    thanks in advance
    sushil chauhan