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I've found the need lately for a way to represent complex fieldtypes like Matrix, Entries, etc as strings. e.g. in the following plugins:

Currently, it seems like you have to more or less account for every fieldtype and do some special processing.

I'm wondering if there is a method that every fieldtype can use (__toString or other) to do this kind of thing in a unified manner.

I was looking at how Craft does the Matrix "preview" for collapsed rows, but I think that's just all JS.

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There isn’t, and yeah, the collapsed Matrix block preview text is just created with some Javascript that checks the fields and their inputs within each block.

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