Many times I have a challenge where I need to convert notes rich text field content into standard text (for instance, displaying the contents of a rich text field in a view!). Here is a quick solution to this challenge.
First, Create a rich text field on your form. You can call this what ever you like (just remember it!). I will call mine MyRichText1. Now create a plain text field on the same form to hold the converted contents. I will call mine MyPlainText1. Be sure to make this field type to "Text" and make it "Computed". You can hide this field from the edit mode or hide it totally if you are just using it to convert. In the programmers pane for the plain text field (MyPlainText1), enter the following formula: @Abstract([TextOnly];512;" ";"MyRichText1"). I know you are wondering what the 512 number represents. It is the maximum size (in bytes) of the text you want to bring in. This formula takes the content stored in the rich text field (MyRichText1), converts the text into plain text and places it in the field MyPlainText1. Pictures and other embedded media are ignored. Now you can use this new plain text content in views and in agents to send plain text e-mail and do all sorts of cool things. Good Luck!!!
This was first published in July 2002