I am trying to convert the Long Area Text in to the RTF Field, the long text area sometime has the the <> in between the texts which is treated as a markup. I tried below to escape the characters like below

        newArticle.Article_Body_Long_T__c = result.SolutionNote;
        String rep = newArticle.Article_Body_Long_T__c.replaceAll('<', '\<');
        rep = newArticle.Article_Body_Long_T__c.replaceAll('>', '\>');
        newArticle.SOP_Article_Body__c = rep.replaceAll('\n', '<br/>');

But it throws error like Illegal string literal: Invalid string literal '\<'. Illegal character sequence \<' in string literal. I want the <> braces retained in the RTF and cannot replace them with the '' empty string. Please let me how I can I handle this

  • Can you add an example value for result.SolutionNote to the question that replicates the problem? Jun 18, 2020 at 23:38
  • Also, by "RTF Field", I assume you mean "Rich Text Area Field"? Jun 18, 2020 at 23:40
  • why not just replace < with &lt;?
    – cropredy
    Jun 19, 2020 at 0:17

1 Answer 1


The \ character is an escape character in Apex. If you wanted it to be a literal backslash in the resulting string, you'd have to double up on it: \\. However, this won't work the way you expect, as the characters need to be escaped in HTML. Use escapeHtml4() to do this:

    newArticle.Article_Body_Long_T__c = result.SolutionNote.escapeHtml4();

Or, to remove them entirely:

    newArticle.Article_Body_Long_T__c = result.SolutionNote.stripHtmlTags();

Note that if <br/> is used, you'll lose the line breaks in the resulting text, so you may need to do additional replacements.

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