How do deal with commas for input/display of large numbers?

I recall having to deal with this type of situation years ago and from what I can tell online, it really hasn't gotten any easier.

I have two possible scenarios. One, is where the user wants to see the number just input formatted with commas after exiting the input box. The other is where the user wants to actually enter the commas.

Both situations make validation and dealing with passing the data to the backend as a Decimal a bit more interesting. I realize this can be done through a variety of possibilities such as keyup/keydown/blur/focus events; modifying the jQuery validator with custom validation, etc. But this seems to imply a bunch of potential new functions and new places for things to go awry on different browsers. We've had tons of fun dealing with how these events, like blur/keyup react in different browsers and it can be a bit nightmarish.

Our current views use the HTML 5 . This facilitates validation and entry without a lot of coding. If possible, we'd like to keep using that type of input.

The user might also want to not be allowed to enter a decimal (for certain types of quantity inputs).

Also, the solution needs to work on both IE8 and Safari (for the iPad). Currently, we have a single view for all of our pages that happens to fit the iPad footprint.

Are there any elegant and simple solutions for dealing with this type of request?


Asp.Net MVC allows you to use jQuery unobtrusive validation which will take care of the heavy-lifting of cross-browser support for you.

You could decorate your view model property with a Remote attribute, which would then tell the browser validation scripts (again, without you having to write code) to call a controller/action for the field. Then, you create that controller/action and do your validation there (you can simple try to parse the number) and send back a message if things fail.

The reason I suggest this is simply for the reason that the remote validation is already a known, working thing and whatever you write on the server won't affect any client. You can be as fancy as you like in the validation without having to test JavaScript.

Here's an intro to remote validation - just don't be alarmed, there is a lot of text and the way the code is written makes it look more involved than it actually is.

Spin up a new project and you should have this going in under 15 minutes.

Best regards.

Edit If you do want to go with a client-side solution, try something pre-built and community supported, such as autoNumeric.

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