I am encountering this error when attempting to define a new label format, "Sorry an error occurred", "Label Format does not fit in database.".

This is on CiviCRM 5.8.1 on Joomla 3.9.1. I can't reproduce it on dmaster.

  • Administer > Communications > Label Formats
  • Click Add Label Format button
  • I used the format settings below:

Label format settings that I used

But if I entered at least some of the measurements as integer numbers only, I am able to save the new label format.

Looking at the civicrm_option_value table in the database, value looks like: {"paper-size":"a4","orientation":"portrait","font-name":"helvetica","font-size":9,"font-style":"","NX":3,"NY":11,"metric":"in","lMargin":0.25,"tMargin":0.5500000000000000444089209850062616169452667236328125,"SpaceX":0.1000000000000000055511151231257827021181583404541015625,"SpaceY":0,"width":2.520000000000000017763568394002504646778106689453125,"height":0.95999999999999996447286321199499070644378662109375,"lPadding":1,"tPadding":1} The very long floating-point numbers look like the cause of the problem. The db column is a varchar(512).

To work around this I had to finish entering the last two values directly in the database table after editing the long numbers back to 1 or 2 decimal places.

Has anybody encountered this before?

UPDATE: This has arisen since PHP 7.1. See this StackExchange question: "According to documentation, PHP 7.1.x started to use serialize_precision instead of precision when encoding double values."

In CRM_Core_BAO_LabelFormat::saveLabelFormat() this line uses json_encode: $this->value = json_encode($v);

$v is OK, it will contain something like:

array(16) { ["paper-size"]=> string(2) "a4" ["orientation"]=> string(8) "portrait" ["font-name"]=> string(9) "helvetica" ["font-size"]=> int(10) ["font-style"]=> string(0) "" ["NX"]=> int(3) ["NY"]=> int(11) ["metric"]=> string(2) "in" ["lMargin"]=> float(0.25) ["tMargin"]=> float(0.55) ["SpaceX"]=> float(0.1) ["SpaceY"]=> float(0) ["width"]=> float(2.52) ["height"]=> float(0.96) ["lPadding"]=> float(0.12) ["tPadding"]=> float(0.1) } It is only after the json_encode() that the extra-long floats are present: string(546) "{"paper-size":"a4","orientation":"portrait","font-name":"helvetica","font-size":10,"font-style":"","NX":3,"NY":11,"metric":"in","lMargin":0.25,"tMargin":0.5500000000000000444089209850062616169452667236328125,"SpaceX":0.1000000000000000055511151231257827021181583404541015625,"SpaceY":0,"width":2.520000000000000017763568394002504646778106689453125,"height":0.95999999999999996447286321199499070644378662109375,"lPadding":0.11999999999999999555910790149937383830547332763671875,"tPadding":0.1000000000000000055511151231257827021181583404541015625}"

Inserting ini_set('serialize_precision', -1 ); into CRM_Core_BAO_LabelFormat::saveLabelFormat() before the json_encode() makes it work for me, as does adding it to php.ini but I'm not sure what the proper solution is.

Does this affect CiviCRM elsewhere? Would this be considered a CiviCRM issue? Or something that should at least be documented (the need to set it in php.ini)?

1 Answer 1


I confirm that this is a bug in civicrm. I was able to replicate on my local running PHP 7.1.

I've created a Gitlab issue at https://lab.civicrm.org/dev/core/issues/612

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