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HTML <textarea> Tag

The <textarea> tag defines a form field where user can input a multi-line text. Unlike the <input> tag, text wrapping inside <textarea> is allowed when the form is submitted.

A text area can contain an unlimited number of characters. The text between opening <textarea> and closing </textarea> tags is rendered in a fixed-width font (usually Courier).


The <textarea> tag comes in pairs, the content is written between opening (<textarea>) and closing (</textarea>) tags.

The <textarea> is used inside the <form> tag.

To define the size of a text field you can use cols and rows attributes, or use height and width CSS properties. To prevent a text field from being resized you can use CSS resize property .


<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Title of the document</title>
      <textarea name="comment" rows="12" cols="35">Send your comments to the author.</textarea><br>
      <input type="submit" name="submitInfo" value="Submit">


In this example we use the <textarea> to define the text field, use name attribute to assign a name to this field (“comment”), use rows attribute to set its height (12 symbols) and cols attribute to set its width (35 symbols).


<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Title of the document</title>
      .comment {
        width: 60%;
        height: 100px;
        padding: 10px;
        outline: 0;
        border: 3px solid #1c87c9;
        background: #d0e2bc;
        line-height: 20px;
      <p>Here we use CSS styles to customize the look of the text field.</p>
      <textarea class="comment"> Send your comments to the author.</textarea>
      <input type="submit" name="submitInfo" value="Submit">


In this example we use CSS styles to customize the look of the text field.


Attribute Value Description
autocomplete on
Specifies whether or not a text field should have autocomplete enabled.
autofocus autofocus Defines that a text area should automatically get focus when the page loads.
cols number Defines the visible width of a text area. Default value is 20 symbols.
dirname textareaname.dir Defines the text direction of the textarea when submitted.
disabled disabled Defines that a text area should be disabled.
form form_id Defines one or more forms the text area belongs to (via id).
maxlenght number Defines the maximum number of characters allowed in the text area.
minlength number Defines the minimum number of characters allowed in the text area.
name text Defines a name for a text area.
placeholder text Defines a short hint that describes the expected value of a text area. The hint is shown when the field is empty, and disappears when it gets focus.
readonly readonly Defines that a text area is read-only.
required required Defines that a text area must be filled out before the form is sent.
rows number Defines a visible number of rows in a text area. Default value is 2.
spellcheck true
Specifies whether the text in the <textarea> tag should be spell checked by the underlying browser/OS.
wrap Defines how the text in a text area is to be wrapped when the form is submitted.
soft -(default value) the text is sent without any additional line breaks inserted.
hard -the browser automatically inserts line breaks so that each line has no more than the width of the control; for this to take effect the cols attribute must be specified.

The <textarea> tag also supports the Global Attributes and the Event Attributes.

How to style <textarea> tag

Common properties to alter the visual weight/emphasis/size of text in <textarea> tag:?

  • CSS font-style property sets the style of the font. normal | italic | oblique | initial | inherit
  • CSS font-family property specifies a prioritized list of one or more font family names and/or generic family names for the selected element.
  • CSS font-size property sets the size of the font.
  • CSS font-weight property defines whether the font should be bold or thick. CSS text-transform Property controls text case and capitalization.
  • CSS text-decoration property specifies the decoration added to text, and is a shorthand property for text-decoration-line, text-decoration-color, text-decoration-style

Coloring text in <textarea> tag:

  • CSS color property describes the color of the text content and text decorations
  • CSS background-color property sets the background color of an element.

Text layout styles for <textarea> tag:

  • CSS text-indent property specifies the indentation of the first line in a text block.
  • CSS text-overflow property specifies how overflowed content that is not displayed should be signaled to the user.
  • CSS white-space property specifies how white-space inside an element is handled.
  • CSS word-break property specifies where the lines should be broken.

Other properties worth looking at for <textarea> tag

Browser support

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