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HTML <textarea> Tag

The <textarea> tag creates a multi-line text input control.

It accepts an unlimited number of characters. Textareas will create scrollbars when the text becomes too large.



A <textarea> with 6 visible rows.
With more than 6 rows of text a scrollbar appears.

<textarea rows="6" cols="40">
Rembrandt van Rijn was a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history.

Using <textarea>

The <textarea> tag creates a multi-line text input control.

This element accepts an unlimited number of characters and line breaks.

By default, the textarea will create scrollbars when the text becomes too large.

The <textarea> element can be used for comments, reviews, addresses, and more.

Textareas honor spaces and line-breaks. They will format text as provided (see example below).

More Examples

A <textarea> with 12 rows and a 45 character row limit. The control has a scrollbar because the text exceeds 12 rows.

Textareas honor spaces and line-breaks. You can see this by how the text inside the textarea indents and wraps the same as specified in the HTML.

<textarea rows="12" cols="45">
      Unlike most Dutch masters of the 
   17th century, Rembrandt's works depict 
   a wide range of style and subject matter, 
   from portraits and self-portraits to 
   landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical 
   and historical scenes, and biblical and 
   mythological themes as well as animal 
      His contributions to art came in a 
   period of great wealth and cultural 
   achievement  that historians call the 
   Dutch Golden Age, when Dutch art 
   (especially Dutch painting), although 
   in many ways antithetical to the 
   Baroque style that dominated Europe, 
   was extremely prolific and innovative 
   and gave rise to important new genres. 
   Like many artists of the Dutch Golden 
   Age, such as Jan Vermeer of Delft, 
   Rembrandt was also an avid art 
   collector and dealer.

Attributes for <textarea>

This table lists the <textarea> tag attributes.

Attribute Value Description
id   identifier Defines a unique identifier for the textarea.
class   classnames Sets one or more CSS classes to be applied to the textarea.
style   CSS-styles Sets the style for the textarea.
data-*   value Defines additional data that can be used by JavaScript.
hidden   hidden Specifies whether the textarea is hidden.
title   text Sets a title that displays as a tooltip.
tabindex   index Sets a tab sequence relative to the other elements.
lang   language Sets the language for the textarea.
autocomplete on | off Presents the user with previously entered values
autofocus no value Sets the focus on the specified textarea when the page loads
cols number Textarea width
dirname textareaname.dir Text direction of the textarea
disabled disabled Disables textarea
form form-id Id of the form the textarea belongs to
maxlength number Maximum number of characters allowed in the textarea
name text Textarea name
placeholder text Displays hint for the textarea
readonly readonly Makes the textarea read-only
required no value Requires textarea value
rows number Allowed number of lines or rows in a textarea
wrap hard
How the text in a textarea is to be wrapped

For additional global attributes see our global attributes list.

Obsolete Attributes

Do not use the attribute listed below.  It is not standardized in HTML5.

Attribute Description Alternative
autocapitalize Sets how characters are automatically capitalized.
Not supported by today's browsers.

More Examples

Textarea with maxlength


A <textarea> with a maxlength attribute limits the number of characters to 50. Once it reaches 50 the textarea stops accepting characters.

<textarea rows="3" cols="45" 
Textarea with a max of 50 characters

Textarea with placeholder


A <textarea> with a placeholder attribute which adds a muted text hint to the control. As soon as data is entered, the placeholder disappears.

<textarea rows="5" cols="45" 
          placeholder="Please enter your feedback">

Disabled textarea


A <textarea> with a disabled attribute. The control is grayed out and users cannot interact with the control.

<form action="/tutorial/action.html">
  <textarea rows="3" cols="45" disabled>
    This is a message. 
  </textarea><br />

  <button type="submit">Submit</button>

Did you know?

Did you know?

Disabling line break (enter key) in a textarea

By default, the <textarea> element accepts a new line or line break as input.

With JavaScript users can be prevented from using the enter key to add a line break.

Type some text in the <textarea> and notice that pressing the enter-key has no effect.

  window.addEventListener('keydown',function(e) {
    if(e.keyIdentifier=='U+000A'||e.keyIdentifier=='Enter'||e.keyCode==13) {
      if(e.target.id=='feedback') {
        return false;

<textarea id="feedback" rows="4" cols="45" 
          placeholder="Start typing here..."></textarea>		

Form Tags

The <textarea> tag is part of a group of tags that are used to create data entry forms. This group is referred to as the Form tag group. Together, they allow you to create comprehensive data input solutions.

Here is a list of form tags

Element Description
<form> Defines a data entry area that contains input elements
<input> Creates an input field in which data can be entered
<label> Creates a label or brief description before input elements
<textarea> Creates a multi-line text input control
<select> Creates a dropdown control
<button> Creates a clickable button that can contain text or an image
<datalist> Specifies a list of options for a textfield (<input>) element
<fieldset> Groups related form elements and displays a box with a legend around these
<legend> Defines a caption for a fieldset

Browser support

Here is when <textarea> support started for each browser:

1.0 Sep 2008
1.0 Sep 2002
1.0 Aug 1995
1.0 Jan 2006
1.0 Jan 2003

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