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HtmlEncodeFormatString errors in GridView BoundField after precompile

I ran across an issue today where my data format string was not being applied to my data in a gridview.  It worked locally, but not in dev or test.  Here's what I had:

<asp:BoundField DataField="GrandTotal" HeaderText="Grand Total" ReadOnly="True" SortExpression="GrandTotal" DataFormatString="{0:c}" />


Ok what would make this render differently in dev?  I looked at the HtmlEncodeFormatString property of the BoundField, noticing that setting it to false made the formatting go away locally as well.  So I assumed that I needed to add HtmlEncodeFormatString="true" in dev to make it work.  However, I got the following error message:


Error: Type 'System.Web.UI.WebControls.BoundField' does not have a public property named 'HtmlEncodeFormatString'.


No idea why this is happening.  I googled the error but found nothing useful.  There is an issue with ASP.NET 3.5 and this property defaulting to true, but I don't have 3.5 installed on the dev box.  So that can't be it.


So I had the bright idea to convert this BoundField to a template column (by clicking the linkbutton in the Edit Columns designer).  I got this:


<asp:TemplateField HeaderText="Grand Total" SortExpression="GrandTotal">


    <asp:Label ID="Label1" runat="server" Text='<%# Bind("GrandTotal", "{0:c}") %>'></asp:Label>




Magically, this works both locally and in dev.  I have no idea why.



jonefer said:

You found an alternate way to fix it.

I found this at:

It explains that this is a design flaw by microsoft.

BoundField DataFormatString attribute not being applied.

Version: 2.0 RTM

I wasted a few minutes figuring out this one.

You have a BoundField object in a GridView bound to a field of type DateTime with a DataFormatString attribute but the format string is not being applied.

<asp:BoundField DataField="DateOfBirth" DataFormatString="{0:MM/dd/yyyy}" />

Instead, the field appears to be formatted using its ToString() method like so:

Output: 10/31/2005 7:00:54 PM


To prevent cross site scripting attacks, the field value is HtmlEncoded. The HtmlEncoding occurs before applying the DataFormatString making the format string have no effect.


In this case (ie. when using a field of type DateTime), set HtmlEncode to false.

<asp:BoundField DataField="DateOfBirth" DataFormatString="{0:MM/dd/yyyy}" HtmlEncode="false"/>

The Output renders as: 10/31/2005

This setting also applies to the HeaderText.

The following:


will not render a line break unless you set HtmlEncode to false.

I am not sure why the team decided against HtmlEncoding the string after applying the DataFormatString.

March 29, 2008 1:11 AM

29er said:

i have found that HtmlEncodeFormatString property does not work at all. so i just use HtmlEncode and it still works fine in 3.5

November 11, 2010 3:08 PM

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