Typically, whitespaces are not typed manually, but rather appear as a byproduct of copying and pasting content into the input control.
Whitespace can have negative impact to further processing. For example:
- Fields might not be found in an exact search for the visible string.
- It could lead to cluttered text alignment.
- System(s) might distinguish objects “ABC” from “˽ABC” and “ABC˽”, which are visually equal to the user.
- Fields with a fixed string length could risk losing data. For example, an input field with a maximum string length of 10 might receive “˽1234567890” via copying and pasting, but only be able to save “˽123456789” due to length limitations.
In order to avoid such issues, leading and trailing blanks can be automatically removed or trimmed.
Use field trimming if:
- The leading or trailing whitespace is not needed for the business process.
- The input fields have uniquely identifying business objects.
- The input fields have a fixed field length.
Do not use field trimming if:
- The use case explicitly requires leading/trailing whitespace. For example, for formatted text such as chats, comments, descriptions, source code, or for file names (according to the supported OS behavior).
- For text areas where users would expect leading whitespace as a formatting tool.
The system behavior for field trimming should be coherent in all editing applications of a field and in all external interfaces (for example, for importing, system integration, and so on).