Adding Emojis to HTML Forms

Scenario: Recently a person copy pasted an FB post into a textarea part of a form on our website and emojis were part of the original post. This resulted in some rather strange looking characters in the output. Emoji support was something I had never figured on.
What I’m looking for is a way for users to Copy & Paste these little images into form fields. I don’t want to clutter the form itself up with emojis to choose from (maybe in the distant future) because it is not a social media site but just to make it possible for a client to copy paste them in. I’m processing the form with Perl, if that means anything.
Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanx ~ Dave

Hi Dave - welcome to the forums :slight_smile:

Are the emojis showing up correctly in your textarea when pasted from Facebook? If so, is the question around how to ensure the emojis are retained when processed by Perl?

:tada::tada::tada: The emojis are showing up great when I paste them into the textarea but after that… Just to see what would happen, I pasted 3 as the first three chars in this post. So, if its a perl issue, where do I go now?

I will admit that my Perl skills are almost non-existent these days. I remember writing a bunch of Perl back in the cgi-bin days of the early 2000’s :stuck_out_tongue:

Can you check if the data is being encoded as UTF-8 by Perl. I found this link that may help here:

The results are in: In the first I pasted in a smilie:
input: Input: :slightly_smiling_face: (IS UTF8? No)
Decoded: :slightly_smiling_face: (IS UTF8? Yes)
Encoded: 🙂 (IS UTF8? No)
Entities input: 🙂
Entities decoded: :slightly_smiling_face:
Entities encoded: 🙂
And the following text input (also tried with colon and right curved bracket with same results.
Input: UTF-8 (IS UTF8? No)
Decoded: UTF-8 (IS UTF8? Yes)
Encoded: UTF-8 (IS UTF8? No)
Entities input: UTF-8
Entities decoded: UTF-8
Entities encoded: UTF-8
Does this mean I either go to using PHP (which passes the emojis) which is nice but I have a great bad word filter in perl that tells the user exactly what words they need to remove before proceeding and so far I haven’t been able to get that to happen in PHP?
Is there a regex code for php which could equal the functionality of a perl one. I didn’t write the regex but at the same time have never seen another one like it.

btw…I forgot earlier, thank much for the reply :slight_smile:

We need to ensure the input is UTF8 in Perl, and that should solve it for you. Does the suggestion in this thread help? Perl and HTML: UTF8 does not work in forms - Stack Overflow

Well Buddy I think I got it working and the script you pointed me to in perlmonks held the final key (although it took me a while to figure it out). Encoding HTML entities to prevent sql injections was the “hidden” culprit (it it had been a snake it would have bit me). Way back when tv’s were all b&w I placed the HTML::Entities::decode($var) tag at the top and when it came to outputting a copy I was using a regex to undo the code for qoute marks.
You’ll never know how much I appreciate your help–I’m pretty much bald to begin with but I would have pulled all the hair out of a wig till I got this. Even with the answer it took an extra day but success it is. Cheers. :slight_smile:


Glad you got it working! Encoding issues and sanitizing inputs are some of the most challenging problems you will run into when processing untrusted/3rd party data, and you totally rocked it with a working solution! :rock::partying_face: