What happens when you move from plain text to rich text to enhanced rich text?

I ran into this situation a while back, but I didn’t write down all the details of what happens when, so now it goes out here to my rememory notebook…

So the situation is as follows… I have a number of multi-line text columns that are set at Plain Text. The customer wants to have some formatting applied to them, which is OK (since we’re going from less to more on the formatting issue). But I know there are situations where if you’re going from more to less formatting, you lose some level of detail in the field.

This is a walk-through of what happens as you move the settings up and down…

Creating the column as Plain Text:Image2014091501

Typical text, and how it looks in a view:Image2014091502

Now a change to Rich Text:Image2014091503

The form with the text formatting and a URL:Image2014091504

And how it looks in the view… all formatting shows up:Image2014091505

Now changing it to Enhanced Rich Text:Image2014091506

Added a table, a hyperlink, and a picture:Image2014091507

And again, it all shows up in the view properly:Image2014091508

So far that works like I would expect… now to work back down.

I changed the column from Enhanced Rich Text to Rich Text and got this message:Image2014091509

Looking at the form, I lost my image. I did retain the text in the table, but the table itself is gone. The hyperlink remained:Image2014091510

That basic change also is reflected in what shows in the view:Image2014091511

Finally, I changed the column back to Plain Text and got this message:Image2014091512

Looking at the form, I’ve now lost all the text formatting and the hyperlink. The Bing URL still shows up, but that’s only because the browser is recognizing it and rendering it as a URL. If I put the form in edit mode, it would just be text. Also, the “And A Table” text has gone from being on one line to being on separate lines:Image2014091513

And finally, here’s what it looks like in the view:Image2014091514

Bottom line… you can change a multi-line text column to go to a higher level of function with little issue. But if you start moving down the list, you’ll progressively lose formatting, even though you’ll keep the raw data (except for images and any links to words/images).


3 responses to “What happens when you move from plain text to rich text to enhanced rich text?

  1. I’ve been having an issue changing from Enhanced Rich Text to Rich Text. The motive for this is so that Excel can be used to update the list using VBA coding. Enhanced Rich Text blocks any changes saying that the “column is read-only”. Below is the html coding that makes up the hyperlinks in our case and you’ll see that after the change was made to Rich Text, the address part of the hyperlink goes missing.

    Before (Enhanced Rich Text)
    M-MMB-R10-PI-0871 rev2-0​

    After (Rich text)
    M-MMB-R10-PI-0871 rev2-0​

    This surely implies that the conversion algorithm that Sharepoint uses is broken.

    • Before (hopefully the apostrophes maintain the coding)


  2. Before (hopefully the missing maintains the coding)
    a href=”file://intranet/DavWWWRoot/Drawing%20Control/M-MMB-R10-PI-0871%20rev2-0.pdf”>M-MMB-R10-PI-0871


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