Editor HTML Helper in ASP.NET Core MVC

Editor HTML Helper in ASP.NET Core MVC

In this article, I will discuss How to Use Editor HTML Helper in ASP.NET Core MVC Application to generate input HTML elements. Please read our previous article, where we discussed How to Generate a List Box using List Box HTML Helper in ASP.NET Core MVC Application.

Editor HTML Helper in ASP.NET Core MVC

As of now, we have seen and used different types of HTML Helper methods to generate different types of HTML elements in ASP.NET Core MVC applications. In ASP.NET Core MVC, the Editor HTML Helper is a method used to generate an HTML input element based on the data type and metadata of a model property. t is commonly used within views to render input fields for properties of a model object. If this is not clear at the moment, don’t worry; we will discuss this with an example.

The ASP.NET Core MVC Framework provides the Editor() HTML Helper method for simple type view and the EditorFor() HTML Helper method for strongly type view to generate HTML elements based on the data type of the model object’s property.

Data Types and Its Equivalent HTML Elements:

The Editor HTML Helper automatically selects the appropriate editor template based on the data type of the property being rendered. It uses the model metadata to determine how to generate the input field, taking into account factors such as data type, display format, validation attributes, etc. The following diagram lists the HTML element that is created for each data type by the Editor() or EditorFor() method.

Data Types and Its Equivalent HTML Elements

Editor HTML Helper Method in ASP.NET Core MVC:

Editor is a generic method that creates an input element for the specified model property. It is used when you want to manually specify the type of input element or provide additional attributes. 

The Editor HTML Helper method requires a string expression as a parameter to specify the property name. This Editor() extension method creates the input HTML element based on the data type of the specified expression. Syntax: @Html.Editor(“PropertyName”)

Let us understand how to use Editor HTML Helper in ASP.NET Core MVC Application with one example. Let us first create a class file with the name Employee.cs within the Models folder and then copy and paste the following code into it.

namespace HTML_HELPER.Models
{
    public class Employee
    {
        public int EmployeeId { get; set; }
        public string? Name { get; set; }
        public Gender Gender { get; set; }
        public int Age { get; set; }
        public bool IsNewlyEnrolled { get; set; }
        public DateTime? DOB { get; set; }
    }

    public enum Gender
    {
        Male,
        Female
    }
}

Next, modify the HomeController as follows.

using HTML_HELPER.Models;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc;
namespace HTML_HELPER.Controllers
{
    public class HomeController : Controller
    {
        public ActionResult Index()
        {
            Employee emp = new Employee()
            {
                EmployeeId = 101,
                Name = "Pranaya",
                Gender = Gender.Male,
                Age = 30,
                IsNewlyEnrolled = true,
                DOB = Convert.ToDateTime("29-02-1988")
            };
            return View(emp);
        }
    }
}

Next, modify the Index.cshtml view file as follows.

@using HTML_HELPER.Models
@model Employee
<table>
    <tr>
        <td>EmployeeId</td>
        <td>@Html.Editor("EmployeeId")</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>Name</td>
        <td>@Html.Editor("Name")</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>Gender</td>
        <td>@Html.Editor("Gender")</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>Age</td>
        <td>@Html.Editor("Age")</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>IsNewlyEnrolled</td>
        <td>@Html.Editor("IsNewlyEnrolled")</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>DOB</td>
        <td>@Html.Editor("DOB")</td>
    </tr>
</table>

Now, run the application; it will give you the following output.

Editor HTML Helper in ASP.NET Core MVC

In the above example, we have specified the property names of the Employee model. So, the Editor HTML Helper method creates the appropriate input elements based on the datatype of Employee model properties, as shown in the above image.

EditorFor HTML Helper Method in ASP.NET Core MVC:

EditorFor is a strongly typed method that generates an input element based on the type of the model property. It infers the appropriate input type based on the data type of the property. It is typically used when you want to use the model metadata or apply custom display/editor templates. Example: @Html.EditorFor(model => model.PropertyName)

The EditorFor HTML Helper method is a strongly typed helper method. As it is a strongly typed method, we must use a lambda expression to specify the name. Let us understand this with an example. Please modify the index.cshtml view as shown below to use the EditorFor extension method

@using HTML_HELPER.Models
@model Employee
<br />
<table>
    <tr>
        <td>EmployeeId</td>
        <td>@Html.EditorFor(emp => emp.EmployeeId)</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>Name</td>
        <td>@Html.EditorFor(emp => emp.Name)</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>Gender</td>
        <td>@Html.EditorFor(emp => emp.Gender)</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>Age</td>
        <td>@Html.EditorFor(emp => emp.Age)</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>IsNewlyEnrolled</td>
        <td>@Html.EditorFor(emp => emp.IsNewlyEnrolled)</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>DOB</td>
        <td>@Html.EditorFor(emp => emp.DOB)</td>
    </tr>
</table>

In the above example, we specified the property name using the lambda expression. There is no difference in the result whether you use the Editor() or the EditorFor() extension method. Now, run the application; it will give you the same output.

What are the Differences Between Editor and EditorFor in ASP.NET Core MVC?

In ASP.NET Core MVC, Editor and EditorFor are HTML helper methods used to render form fields for model properties in a Razor view. However, they have some differences in how they are used and the level of control they provide.

Usage:
  • Editor: This is a static method available in the HtmlHelper class. It’s generally used when you want to render a form field for a specific property of a model and don’t need to specify much about the rendering behavior.
  • EditorFor: This is a strongly typed method that is based on the model’s metadata. It’s used when you want to render a form field based on the data type of a property and possibly use additional attributes specified in the model (like data annotations).
Customization:
  • Editor: Provides less customization as it directly renders an input field based on the type of the property. You have to handle additional customization manually.
  • EditorFor: Provides more customization options. It renders the input field based on the data type of the property and uses model metadata for additional attributes like display name, validation attributes, etc. You can also create custom editor templates for specific data types or property types to customize rendering further.
Strongly Typed:
  • EditorFor is strongly typed, meaning it relies on the model type and its metadata to render form fields. This helps catch errors at compile-time and provides better IntelliSense support in Razor views.
  • Editor is not strongly typed, so you need to manually specify the property name or use a magic string to refer to model properties. This can lead to runtime errors if the property name is mistyped.
Consistency:
  • EditorFor promotes consistency in form rendering across different views because it relies on metadata attributes defined in the model. This can be especially useful in larger applications where multiple developers work on different parts of the codebase.
  • Editor might lead to inconsistencies in form rendering if developers manually handle form field rendering without following a standardized approach.

So, EditorFor is generally preferred over Editor because of its strong typing, automatic handling of metadata, and better support for customization. However, Editor can still be useful in scenarios where you need more manual control over form field rendering or when you don’t want to rely on model metadata.

In the next article, I will discuss the Password Field HTML Helper in the ASP.NET Core MVC application. I explain How to Use Editor HTML Helper in the ASP.NET Core MVC Application with Examples in this article. I hope this article will help you with your needs.

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