Does anybody know why the normalizeSpace() or replaceAll() doesn't work with my rich text area field? I tried entering same value that I have on the rich text area and manually adding it on a variable(String manual). They don't show the same result.

        for(ENQ_Surveillance_Reports__c eachSR : listSurveillanceReports){
        String textArea = eachSR.Test_Rich_Text_Area_Field__c;
        String manual = 'Test              replace spaces';
        System.debug('##textArea: ' + textArea);

        System.debug('@@@textAreaNormalized: ' + textArea.normalizeSpace());
        System.debug('###manualNormalized: ' + manual.normalizeSpace());

        replaced = textArea.replaceAll('\\s\\s+','REPLACED');
        String manual1 = manual.replaceAll('\\s\\s+','REPLACED');
        System.debug('@@@textAreaReplaced: ' + replaced);
        System.debug('###manual1: ' + manual1);

This is what shows on the debug logs for normalizeSpace().

17:04:49.0 (50913259)|USER_DEBUG|[176]|DEBUG|##textArea: Test replace                 multiple spaces with a single space.
17:04:49.0 (50961950)|USER_DEBUG|[178]|DEBUG|@@@textAreaNormalized: Test replace                 multiple spaces with a single space.
17:04:49.0 (50993445)|USER_DEBUG|[179]|DEBUG|###manualNormalized: Test replace spaces

This is what shows for replaceAll().

17:04:49.0 (51094788)|USER_DEBUG|[183]|DEBUG|@@@textAreaReplaced: Test replace                 multiple spaces with a single space.
17:04:49.0 (51115244)|USER_DEBUG|[184]|DEBUG|###manual1: TestREPLACEDreplace spaces
  • 1
    The normalizeSpace() works as expected. You are most likely dealing with a white space character that isn't the normal space bar character. I know of a very common one but can't come up with it right now. I'll try to google it for you. You can try copying one of the spaces form a rich text field, and pasting it into the replaceAll. It may help.
    – Kasper
    Jun 23, 2017 at 22:56
  • What do you mean? Because I'm actually sure I used the space bar to put the spaces on the Rich Text Area field.. not tab or anything else..
    – Loren
    Jun 23, 2017 at 23:05
  • 1
    I have checked that normalizeSpace() works well for richtextarea, if I put space using space bar it works well to Jun 23, 2017 at 23:16
  • 1
    I tried it too on the EU6 instance, and it's working for me. It's a very basic function so i'm guessing it's unlikely to be broken. In the past I have had issues with white space characters that are encoded differently than the normal space. But if you've entered it manually that's not the issue here.
    – Kasper
    Jun 23, 2017 at 23:18

1 Answer 1


Please, look at the "space" char codes of your textArea string.

  • 1
    I never thought that the space I'm seeing is a non-breaking space and what I'm entering is a regular space. So they have different character codes. [\\x{a0}\\s\\s] this regex worked for me. I got it checked by someone from regex101.com.
    – Loren
    Aug 13, 2017 at 5:20

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