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:
Typical text, and how it looks in a view:
The form with the text formatting and a URL:
And how it looks in the view… all formatting shows up:
Now changing it to Enhanced Rich Text:
Added a table, a hyperlink, and a picture:
And again, it all shows up in the view properly:
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:
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:
That basic change also is reflected in what shows in the view:
Finally, I changed the column back to Plain Text and got this message:
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:
And finally, here’s what it looks like in the view:
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).
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)
After (Rich text)
This surely implies that the conversion algorithm that Sharepoint uses is broken.
Before (hopefully the apostrophes maintain the coding)
Before (hopefully the missing maintains the coding)