Recipe 3.1 Using the Enter Key to Submit a Form

     

3.1.1 Problem

Ordinarily, a user must click on the Submit button of a form in order to send information entered by a user to a server. You want to use the Enter key for this purpose as well.

3.1.2 Solution

Write some code that generates a client script that captures the keypress event of the browser document object and then checks each keystroke for the Enter key.

In the .aspx file, add id and runat attributes to the body element so that the tag's contents can be accessed (and modified) in the code-behind:

 <body  id="pageBody" runat="server"  leftmargin="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" topmargin="0"> 

In the code-behind class for the page, use the .NET language of your choice to:

  1. Call the Add method of the pageBody object's Attributes collection to add the onload attribute to the pageBody control, which causes the captureKeyPress (or equivalently named) client-side script function to be called when the page is first loaded. Your goal is to have HTML like this sent to the browser:

      <body id="pageBody" leftmargin="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" topmargin="0" onload="captureKeyPress( );">  

  2. Build a string containing the client-side JavaScript that is to be executed when the page is loaded and that causes it to be output as part of the rendered page. The client-side script must capture the keypress event in the browser, check to see if the key pressed is the Enter key, and perform the form submittal, as the following JavaScript does:

      <script language='javascript'> <!-- function captureKeyPress( ) { document.onkeypress = checkForReturn; } function checkForReturn( ) { if (window.event.keyCode==13) { if (window.event.srcElement.id != 'btnCancel') { window.event. keyCode =0; _ _doPostBack('btnSave',''); } } } //--> </script>  

  3. Use the RegisterClientScriptBlock method of the Page object to register the script block so that it is output when the page is rendered.

Example 3-1 through Example 3-3 show the .aspx and code-behind files for an application that makes use of this solution.

This code will work only with Internet Explorer. In Netscape, the client script required to capture the keypress event and process the key presses is quite different and beyond the scope of this book; however, Recipe 3.1.4 references a JavaScript book that can help you through the browser-specific aspects of JavaScript.


3.1.3 Discussion

The idea behind our solution is to use client script to capture the keypress event of the browser document object so you can check each keystroke for the Enter key. After the Enter key is detected , the client script calls the client-side method provided by ASP.NET to perform a postback of the form to the server.

In terms of the client script, the solution we advocate involves starting with some skeleton JavaScript and then generating the rest on the fly. The best way to describe how this is done is by turning to our example.

Before we delve into the example, though, you might be wondering why our solution doesn't place all of the JavaScript code directly in the .aspx file from the start instead of generating it on the fly. The reason is that such an approach requires you to hardcode the IDs of the buttons and the name of the ASP.NET-generated postback function in the client script. Our approach has the distinct advantage that it will not break if the IDs of the buttons are changed or if the name of the postback function is changed in a later release of ASP.NET.

Our explanation of the example begins with the client-side JavaScript that we cause to be generated in the code-behind. We then delve into the code in the code-behind that generates it.

The client-side JavaScript that is to be generated by the code-behind is shown next . It consists of two functions: captureKeyPress and checkForReturn .

 <script language='javascript'> <!--  function captureKeyPress( )  { document.onkeypress = checkForReturn; }  function checkForReturn( )  { if (window.event.keyCode==13) { if (window.event.srcElement.id != 'btnCancel') { window.event.keyCode=0; _ _doPostBack('btnSave',''); } } } //--> </script> 

The captureKeyPress function sets the checkForReturn function to be executed anytime a key is pressed in the browser.

The checkForReturn function first checks to see if the key pressed is the Enter key ( keycode 13). If so, it then checks the source of the event. The Enter key should cause a form postback , with the source of the postback set to the Save button in all cases, except when the Cancel button is the source. This check is important because without it, hitting the Enter key when the Cancel button is the selected control results in a postback with both the Save and Cancel button click events raised.

If the key pressed is the Enter key and the source of the keypress event is not the Cancel button, the event keycode is set to 0 to stop further processing of the keypress event. Then the ASP.NET postback function is called, passing the Save button as the source of the postback (first parameter) and no arguments for the postback event (second parameter).

In this example, the body element is modified in the code-behind. To provide access to the body element in the code-behind, the id and runat attributes are added:

 <body  id="pageBody" runat="server"  leftmargin="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" topmargin="0"> 

All work in the code-behind is done in the Page_Load method. The first operation performed is to call the Add method of the pageBody object's Attributes collection to add the onload attribute to the pageBody control, which causes the captureKeyPress client-side script function to be called when the page is first loaded.

This results in the following HTML being sent to the browser:

 <body id="pageBody" leftmargin="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" topmargin="0"  onload="captureKeyPress( );  "> 

The remainder of the Page_Load method builds a string containing the client-side JavaScript and causes it to be output as part of the rendered page. This code begins by creating a new StringBuilder object named clientScript and adds the opening script block code to it. It then adds the code to define the captureKeyPress function to the clientScript StringBuilder .

Using the StringBuilder class makes a lot of sense here because of all the appending that is being done to the clientScript string. If the String class had been used instead, ASP.NET would have returned a new String every time a modification was made to clientScript , slowing down execution. This is a good example of where using the StringBuilder class can really improve performance. Refer to Recipe 16.2 for additional information on String performance.


Next, the code adds the checkForReturn function to the clientScript StringBuilder . The following highlighted code sections provide the ASCII value of the Enter keycode , the name of the Cancel button, and the name of the method created by ASP.NET to process the page postback ( _ _doPostBack ). Using this approach improves the maintainability of your code by allowing you to change the ID of the Cancel button or the name of the postback function without requiring you to modify this code.

The GetPostBackClientEvent is passed two parameters, as highlighted in the following code. The first is a reference to the control that caused the postback . Setting this to the Save button will cause the Save button's click event to be raised when the page is posted back. The second parameter contains the arguments that are passed to the Save button click event; no arguments are actually required here.

 
figs/vbicon.gif
 functionScript = "if (window.event.keyCode==" &  Asc(NewLine)  & ") " & _ "{" & NewLine & _ "if (window.event.srcElement.id!='" &  btnCancel.ID  & "') " & _ "{" & NewLine & _ "window.event.keyCode=0;" & NewLine & _  GetPostBackClientEvent(btnSave,  "") & ";" & NewLine & _ "}" & NewLine & _ "}" & NewLine clientScript.Append("function checkForReturn( )" & NewLine) clientScript.Append("{" & NewLine) clientScript.Append(functionScript) clientScript.Append("}" & NewLine) 
figs/csharpicon.gif
 functionScript = "if (window.event.keyCode==" +  System.Convert.ToByte(NEW_LINE).ToString( )  + ") " + "{" + NEW_LINE + "if (window.event.srcElement.id!='" +  btnCancel.ID  + "') " + "{" + NEW_LINE + "window.event.keyCode=0;" + NEW_LINE +  GetPostBackClientEvent(btnSave, "")  + ";" + NEW_LINE + "}" + NEW_LINE + "}" + NEW_LINE; clientScript.Append("function checkForReturn( )" + NEW_LINE); clientScript.Append("{" + NEW_LINE); clientScript.Append(functionScript); clientScript.Append("}" + NEW_LINE); 

Finally, the closing </script> tag is added to the clientScript StringBuilder .

The code shown here registers the script block to be output when the page is rendered:

 
figs/vbicon.gif
 Page.RegisterClientScriptBlock("ScriptBlock", _ clientScript.ToString( )) 
figs/csharpicon.gif
 Page.RegisterClientScriptBlock("ScriptBlock", clientScript.ToString( )); 

The code shown in the Page_Load method must be executed anytime the page is displayed. In this example, this is accomplished by generating the client script in the Page_Load method without checking to see if the page is initially being displayed or if a postback is being performed. Although this approach works, it can result in generating the client script even when the page is not going to be displayed, such as when a postback results in displaying a different page. Refer to Recipe 3.2 for a more efficient example of generating the client script.


3.1.4 See Also

The sidebar Building a JavaScript Library in Recipe 3.5 for information on creating a reusable library of JavaScript functions; Recipe 16.2 for improving String operation performance; JavaScript: The Definitive Guide , by David Flanagan (O'Reilly), for more information on browser-specific JavaScript

Example 3-1. Using the Enter key to submit a form (.aspx)
 <%@ Page Language="vb" AutoEventWireup="false" Codebehind="CH03EnterSubmitVB.aspx.vb" Inherits="ASPNetCookbook.VBExamples.CH03EnterSubmitVB" %> <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <title>Using Enter To Submit Form</title> <link rel="stylesheet" href="css/ASPNetCookbook.css"> </head>  <body id="pageBody" runat="server"  leftmargin="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" topmargin="0"> <form id="frmEnterCapture" method="post" runat="server"> <table width="100%" cellpadding ="0" cellspacing="0" border="0"> <tr> <td align="center"> <img src="images/ASPNETCookbookHeading_blue.gif"> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="dividerLine"> <img src="images/spacer.gif" height="6" border="0"></td> </tr> </table> <table width="90%" align="center" border="0"> <tr> <td><img src="images/spacer.gif" height="10" border="0"></td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center" class="PageHeading"> Using Enter To Submit Form (VB) </td> </tr> <tr> <td><img src="images/spacer.gif" height="10" border="0"></td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center"> <table border="0"> <tr> <td class="LabelText">Email Address: </td> <td> <asp:TextBox ID="txtEmailAddress" Runat="server" Columns="30" CssClass="LabelText" /> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="LabelText">Password: </td> <td> <asp:TextBox ID="txtPassword" Runat="server" textmode="Password" Columns="30" CssClass="LabelText" /> </td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2"> <br> <table align="center" width="50%"> <tr> <td align="center"> <asp:ImageButton ID="btnLogin" Runat="server" ImageUrl="images/buttons/button_login.gif" /> </td> <td align="center"> <asp:ImageButton ID="btnCancel" Runat="server" ImageUrl="images/buttons/button_cancel.gif" /> </td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> </table> </form> </body> </html> 

Example 3-2. Using the Enter key to submit a form code-behind (.vb)
 Option Explicit On Option Strict On '----------------------------------------------------------------------------- ' ' Module Name: CH03EnterSubmitVB.aspx.vb ' ' Description: This module provides the code behind for ' CH03EnterSubmitVB.aspx ' '***************************************************************************** Imports Microsoft.VisualBasic Imports System.Environment Imports System.Text Namespace ASPNetCookbook.VBExamples Public Class CH03EnterSubmitVB Inherits System.Web.UI.Page 'controls on form  Protected pageBody As System.Web.UI.HtmlControls.HtmlGenericControl  Protected WithEvents btnLogin As System.Web.UI.WebControls.ImageButton Protected WithEvents btnCancel As System.Web.UI.WebControls.ImageButton '************************************************************************* ' ' ROUTINE: Page_Load ' ' DESCRIPTION: This routine provides the event handler for the page load ' event. It is responsible for initializing the controls ' on the page. '------------------------------------------------------------------------- Private Sub Page_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, _ ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load  Dim clientScript As StringBuilder   Dim functionScript As String   'add onload attribute to the page body to add a handler to the   'keypress event for the page   pageBody.Attributes.Add("onload", _   "captureKeyPress( );")   'generate the opening script tag   clientScript = New StringBuilder   clientScript.Append("<script language='javascript'>" & NewLine)   clientScript.Append("<!--" & NewLine)   'add the client script used to capture the keypress event   functionScript = "document.onkeypress = checkForReturn;" & NewLine   clientScript.Append("function captureKeyPress( )" & NewLine)   clientScript.Append("{" & NewLine)   clientScript.Append(functionScript)   clientScript.Append("}" & NewLine)   'add the client script to check the keypress event   functionScript = "if (window.event.keyCode==" & Asc(NewLine) & ") " & _   "{" & NewLine & _   "if (window.event.srcElement.id!='" & btnCancel.ID & "') " & _   "{" & NewLine & _   "window.event.keyCode=0;" & NewLine & _   GetPostBackClientEvent(btnLogin, "") & ";" & NewLine & _   "}" & NewLine & _   "}" & NewLine   clientScript.Append("function checkForReturn( )" & NewLine)   clientScript.Append("{" & NewLine)   clientScript.Append(functionScript)   clientScript.Append("}" & NewLine)   'generate the closing script tag   clientScript.Append("//-->" & NewLine)   clientScript.Append("</script>" & NewLine)   'register the client script to be output when the page is rendered   Page.RegisterClientScriptBlock("ScriptBlock", _   clientScript.ToString( ))  End Sub 'Page_Load '************************************************************************* ' ' ROUTINE: btnLogin_Click ' ' DESCRIPTION: This routine provides the event handler for the login ' button click event. It is responsible for processing ' the form data. '------------------------------------------------------------------------- Private Sub btnLogin_Click(ByVal sender As Object, _ ByVal e As System.Web.UI.ImageClickEventArgs) _ Handles btnLogin.Click 'perform login operations here End Sub 'btnLogin_Click '************************************************************************* ' ' ROUTINE: btnCancel_Click ' ' DESCRIPTION: This routine provides the event handler for the cancel ' button click event. '------------------------------------------------------------------------- Private Sub btnCancel_Click(ByVal sender As Object, _ ByVal e As System.Web.UI.ImageClickEventArgs) _ Handles btnCancel.Click 'perform cancel operations here End Sub 'btnCancel_Click End Class 'CH03EnterSubmitVB End Namespace 

Example 3-3. Using the Enter key to submit a form code-behind (.cs)
 //---------------------------------------------------------------------------- // // Module Name: CH03EnterSubmitCS.aspx.cs // // Description: This module provides the code behind for // CH03EnterSubmitCS.aspx // //**************************************************************************** using System; using System.Text; using System.Web.UI; using System.Web.UI.HtmlControls; using System.Web.UI.WebControls; namespace ASPNetCookbook.CSExamples { public class CH03EnterSubmitCS : System.Web.UI.Page { // controls on form  protected System.Web.UI.HtmlControls.HtmlGenericControl pageBody;  protected System.Web.UI.WebControls.ImageButton btnLogin; protected System.Web.UI.WebControls.ImageButton btnCancel; //************************************************************************ // // ROUTINE: Page_Load // // DESCRIPTION: This routine provides the event handler for the page // load event. It is responsible for initializing the // controls on the page. //------------------------------------------------------------------------ private void Page_Load(object sender, System.EventArgs e) {  const char NEW_LINE = '\r';   StringBuilder clientScript = null;   String functionScript = null;   // wire the login and cancel button click events   this.btnLogin.Click += new ImageClickEventHandler(this.btnLogin_Click);   this.btnCancel.Click +=   new ImageClickEventHandler(this.btnCancel_Click);   // add onload attribute to the page body to add a handler to the   // keypress event for the page   pageBody.Attributes.Add("onload",   "captureKeyPress( );");   // generate the opening script tag   clientScript = new StringBuilder( );   clientScript.Append("<script language='javascript'>" + NEW_LINE);   clientScript.Append("<!--" + NEW_LINE);   // add the client script used to capture the keypress event   functionScript = "document.onkeypress = checkForReturn;" + NEW_LINE;   clientScript.Append("function captureKeyPress( )" + NEW_LINE);   clientScript.Append("{" + NEW_LINE);   clientScript.Append(functionScript);   clientScript.Append("}" + NEW_LINE);   // add the client script to check the keypress event   functionScript = "if (window.event.keyCode==" +   System.Convert.ToByte(NEW_LINE).ToString( ) + ") " +   "{" + NEW_LINE +   "if (window.event.srcElement.id!='" + btnCancel.ID + "') " +   "{" + NEW_LINE +   "window.event.keyCode=0;" + NEW_LINE +   GetPostBackClientEvent(btnLogin, "") + ";" + NEW_LINE +   "}" + NEW_LINE +   "}" + NEW_LINE;   clientScript.Append("function checkForReturn( )" + NEW_LINE);   clientScript.Append("{" + NEW_LINE);   clientScript.Append(functionScript);   clientScript.Append("}" + NEW_LINE);   // generate the closing script tag   clientScript.Append("//-->" + NEW_LINE);   clientScript.Append("</script>" + NEW_LINE);   // register the client script to be output when the page is rendered   Page.RegisterClientScriptBlock("ScriptBlock",   clientScript.ToString( ));  } // Page_Load //************************************************************************ // // ROUTINE: btnLogin_Click // // DESCRIPTION: This routine provides the event handler for the login // button click event. It is responsible for processing // the form data. // //------------------------------------------------------------------------ private void btnLogin_Click(Object sender, System.Web.UI.ImageClickEventArgs e) { // perform login operations here } // btnLogin_Click //************************************************************************ // // ROUTINE: btnCancel_Click // // DESCRIPTION: This routine provides the event handler for the cancel // button click event. // //------------------------------------------------------------------------ private void btnCancel_Click(Object sender, System.Web.UI.ImageClickEventArgs e) { // perform cancel operations here } // btnCancel_Click } // CH03EnterSubmitCS } 



ASP. NET Cookbook
ASP.Net 2.0 Cookbook (Cookbooks (OReilly))
ISBN: 0596100647
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 179

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