HTML Helpers in ASP.NET Core MVC

HTML Helpers in ASP.NET Core MVC

In this article, I will discuss HTML Helpers in ASP.NET Core MVC Applications with Examples. The most important point is that using HTML Helpers in an ASP.NET Core MVC Application greatly reduces the number of HTML tags you generally use to create HTML Controls.

What are HTML Helpers in ASP.NET MVC?

In ASP.NET MVC, HTML Helpers are methods that generate HTML controls in a View. They provide a convenient way to generate HTML markup using C# or VB.NET code. HTML Helpers simplify the process of creating form controls such as textboxes, dropdown lists, checkboxes, radio buttons, and more. They also provide a way to render HTML controls in a strongly typed manner, ensuring that the controls are bound to the application’s data model.

Why HTML Helpers in ASP.NET Core MVC?

An HTML Helper in ASP.NET Core MVC is an extension method of the HTML Helper class, which is used to generate HTML content in a view. For example, if you want to generate a textbox with id=”firtsname” and name=”firtsname” then you can type all the required HTML in a view as shown below.

<input type="text" name="firtsname" id="firstname" />

However, in ASP.NET Core MVC, you can use the TextBox HTML helper method to generate a text box as follows.

@Html.TextBox("firtsname")

You need to remember that several overloaded versions are available for the above TextBox HTML helper method. To set the value and name, you can use the following overloaded version of the TextBox helper method.

@Html.TextBox("firtsname", "Pranaya")

At runtime, the above TextBox HTML helper method generates the following HTML

<input id="firtsname" name="firtsname" type="text" value="Pranaya" />

It is also possible to set the HTML attributes of a text box. If you want to do so, you need to use the following overloaded version of the TextBox HTML helper method.

@Html.TextBox("firtsname", "Pranaya", new { style = "background-color:Red; color:White; font-weight:bold", title="Please enter your first name" })

Notice that here, we are passing the HTML attributes title and style as an anonymous type to the TextBox helper method. Some HTML attributes are reserved keywords, such as readonly, class, etc. If you want to use these attributes within a Helper method, you must prefix them with the @ symbol, as shown in the example below.

@Html.TextBox("firtsname", "Pranaya", new { @class = "redtextbox", @readonly="true" })

Now, if you want to generate a label, use the Label HTML helper method as follows.

@Html.Label("Name", "Name")

If you want to generate a textbox to enter a password, use the Password HTML Helper method.

@Html.Password("Password")

Now, if you want to generate a multi-line textbox with 6 rows and 30 columns, then you use the following TextArea HTML Helper method.

@Html.TextArea("Comments", "", 6, 30, null)

If you want to generate a hidden field, use the Hidden HTML Helper method.

@Html.Hidden("Id")
Types of HTML Helpers in ASP.NET Core MVC

There are different types of HTML Helpers available in ASP.NET MVC, such as:

  • Standard HTML Helpers: These helpers generate HTML elements such as text boxes, checkboxes, radio buttons, etc. Examples include Html.TextBox(), Html.BeginForm(), Html.CheckBox(), etc.
  • Strongly Typed HTML Helpers: These helpers are associated with a specific data model and provide a type-safe rendering of HTML controls. They use lambda expressions to refer to model properties directly. Examples include Html.EditorFor(model => model.PropertyName), Html.DisplayFor(model => model.PropertyName), etc.
  • Custom HTML Helpers: Developers can create their own HTML Helpers to encapsulate complex or frequently used HTML markup.
Is it mandatory to use HTML Helpers in ASP.NET Core MVC?

No, using HTML Helpers in ASP.NET Core MVC is not mandatory. HTML Helpers simplify the creation of HTML elements in your views by returning string representations of HTML elements, making it easier to generate HTML content dynamically. 

However, ASP.NET Core MVC also supports Tag Helpers, which are a newer syntax introduced with ASP.NET Core. Tag Helpers are similar to HTML Helpers but use a more HTML-like syntax. 

Categories of HTML Helpers Methods in ASP.NET Core MVC Application

In ASP.NET Core MVC, HTML Helpers are categorized into various types based on the type of HTML element they generate. Each type of HTML Helper is designed to simplify the process of generating specific types of HTML elements within your views. The following are some common types of HTML Helpers in ASP.NET Core MVC:

Form HTML Helpers:

Form HTML Helpers generate HTML forms and related elements, such as textboxes, checkboxes, radio buttons, and dropdown lists. These helpers are used to create forms that can be used to gather user input. The following are the examples:

  • Html.BeginForm
  • Html.TextBoxFor
  • Html.CheckBoxFor
  • Html.RadioButtonFor
  • Html.DropDownListFor
  • Html.TextAreaFor
Link HTML Helpers:

The Link HTML Helpers generate anchor (<a>) tags that create hyperlinks to different pages within your application. The following are the examples:

  • Html.ActionLink
  • Html.RouteLink
Rendering HTML Helpers:

The Rendering HTML Helpers generate raw HTML content or render partial views within your main view. The following are the examples:

  • Html.Raw
  • Html.Partial
  • Html.RenderPartial
List HTML Helpers:

The List HTML Helper generates HTML lists, such as unordered lists (<ul>) and ordered lists (<ol>). The following is an example:

  • Html.DisplayFor
Validation HTML Helpers:

The Validation HTML Helpers are used to display validation error messages associated with model properties. The following is an example:

  • Html.ValidationMessageFor
HiddenField HTML Helpers:

HiddenField HTML Helpers generate hidden input fields that store data but are not visible to users.

Example:
  • Html.HiddenFor
Editor HTML Helpers:

The Editor HTML Helpers generate input fields with specialized editors for specific data types, such as dates or numbers. The following is an example:

  • Html.EditorFor
Action HTML Helpers:

The Action HTML Helpers generate URLs for different controller actions. The following is an example:

  • Html.Action
Why HTML Helpers in ASP.NET MVC?

HTML Helpers in ASP.NET MVC are utility methods that help generate HTML markup. They serve several purposes:

  • Abstraction of HTML: HTML Helpers abstract the low-level details of HTML markup generation. Instead of manually writing HTML tags in your views, you can use HTML Helpers to generate them programmatically.
  • Type Safety: HTML Helpers are strongly typed, meaning they are bound to specific data types. This ensures type safety during compile time, reducing the chances of runtime errors.
  • Code Reusability: By encapsulating common HTML patterns into reusable methods, HTML Helpers promote code reusability and maintainability. You can use them across multiple views and share them among different projects.
  • Intellisense Support: When you use HTML Helpers in your views, you benefit from Intellisense support in your IDE. This support provides helpful suggestions and auto-completion, making development faster and more efficient.
  • Security: Some HTML Helpers automatically handle the encoding of user input, helping prevent common security vulnerabilities such as Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks.

In the next article, I will discuss the TextBox HTML Helper Method in ASP.NET Core MVC Applications with examples. This article explains the basic concepts of HTML Helpers in ASP.NET Core MVC applications. I hope you enjoy this HTML Helpers in ASP.NET Core MVC article.

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