TEXTAREA element lets users enter more than one line of text.
Any text included up to the end element is used to initialise the field's value. This end element is always required even if the field is initially blank. When submitting a form, lines in a
TEXTAREA should be terminated using CR/LF.
In a typical rendering, the ROWS and COLS attributes determine the visible dimension of the field in characters. The field is rendered in a fixed-width font. HTML user agents should allow text to extend beyond these limits by scrolling as needed.
The WRAP attribute can be used to specify how to handle word-wrapping display in text input areas in forms.
<TEXTAREA WRAP=OFF>-- the default setting - Wrapping doesn't happen. Lines are sent exactly as typed.
<TEXTAREA WRAP=VIRTUAL>-- The display word-wraps, but long lines are sent as one line without new-lines.
<TEXTAREA WRAP=PHYSICAL>-- The display word-wraps, and the text is transmitted at all wrap points.
NOTE : Internet Explorer (version 3.0), by default wraps text in a
<TEXTAREA> box, while Internet Explorer 4.0 supports the
WRAP attribute. Also, these values have changed in Netscape 4.0 and Internet Explorer 4.0 and above to
<TEXTAREA> can also take the NAME attribute, which can be used to set the name of the element for scripting purposes.
ACCESSKEY attribute can be used to specify a shortcut key for the
<TEXTAREA> (activated by pressing 'Alt' and the
ACCESSKEY together - like standard Windows applications menu shortcuts). The
ACCESSKEY setting can be any valid key character and the
<TEXTAREA> is not modified in any way to reflect that an
ACCESSKEY has been defined.
TABINDEX attribute can be used to set a tabbing order for the user to navigate around the main
<FORM>. For example, if
<FORM> elements have
TABINDEX properties set, when the user is focused on an element, pressing the 'Tab' key will pass the focus to the element with the next highest
The Internet Explorer 4.0 (and above) specific
TITLE attribute is used for informational purposes. If present, the value of the
TITLE attribute is presented as a ToolTip when the users mouse hovers over the
LANG attribute can be used to specify what language the
<TEXTAREA> element is using. It accepts any valid ISO standard language abbreviation (for example
"en" for English,
"de" for German etc.) For more details, see the Document Localisation section for more details.
LANGUAGE attribute can be used to expressly specify which scripting language Internet Explorer 4.0 uses to interpret any scripting information used in the
<TEXTAREA> element. It can accept values of
LANGUAGE attribute is set.
CLASS="Style Sheet class name"
CLASS attribute is used to specify the
<TEXTAREA> element as using a particular style sheet class. See the Style Sheets topic for details.
STYLE="In line style setting"
As well as using previously defined style sheet settings, the
<TEXTAREA> element can have in-line stylings attached to it. See the Style Sheets topic for details.
ID="Unique element identifier"
ID attribute can be used to either reference a unique style sheet identifier, or to provide a unique name for the
<TEXTAREA> element for scripting purposes. Any
<TEXTAREA> element with an
ID attribute can be directly manipulated in script by referencing its
ID attribute, rather than working through the All collection to determine the element. See the Scripting introduction topic for more information.
ALIGN attribute can be used to set the alignment for the drop-down list. It accepts the standard
ALIGN attribute values of
DATAFLD attribute can be used to specify a data column name from the Data source (see
DATASRC) that the
<TEXTAREA> is bound to. For more information on the
DATAFLD attribute, see the Data Binding topic.
DATASRC attribute can be used to specify a data source that the
<TEXTAREA> is bound to. For more information on the
DATASRC attribute, see the Data Binding topic.
DISABLED flag for a
<TEXTAREA> box disables it from receiving any user input, or focus. It can still display values, text etc., but the user will not be able to make any changes to those values.
READONLY flag is slightly different to the
DISABLED flag in that an
<TEXTAREA> element labelled as
READONLY can still receive the users focus, but the contents of the control can not be changed.
<TEXTAREA> element in a document is an object that can be manipulated through scripting. Scripting of the
<INPUT> element is supported by both browsers (Netscape supports scripting through the Forms collection/array and Elements Object/Array. See those topics for details of Netscape support for scripting the
<TEXTAREA...> element/object supports all of the standard Dynamic HTML properties (i.e. className, document, id, innerHTML, innerText, isTextEdit, lang, language, offsetHeight, offsetLeft, offsetParent, offsetTop, offsetWidth, outerHTML, outerText, parentElement, parentTextEdit, sourceIndex, style, tagName and title). Details of these can be found in the standard Dynamic HTML properties topics.
<TEXTAREA> element also supports the following properties:
accessKey property directly reflects the value of the
ACCESSKEY attribute (see above).
align property directly reflects the value of the
ALIGN attribute (see above).
clientHeight property reflects the height (in pixels) of the contents of the
clientWidth property reflects the width (in pixels) of the contents of the
cols property directly reflects the value of the
COLS attribute, if set. (See above)
dataFld property directly reflects the value of the
DATAFLD attribute, setting the column name for Data Binding of the
dataSrc property directly reflects the value of the
DATASRC attribute, taking the
ID attribute of the data source for Data Binding of the
disabled contains a boolean value representing whether the
DISABLED flag has been set for the
name property directly reflects the value of the
NAME attribute for the
<TEXTAREA> text box.
readOnly contains a boolean value representing whether the
READONLY flag has been set for the
rows property directly reflects the value of the
ROWS attribute for the
<TEXTAREA> text box.
scrollHeight property reflects the contents of the
<TEXTAREA> elements total scrollable height (in pixels).
scrollLeft property reflects a value representing the distance between the left-most edge of the element and the left-most visible edge of the element. While the contents of the
<TEXTAREA> element are totally visible on the screen, the
scrollLeft property is 0, only increasing if the left-most edge of the
<TEXTAREA> elements contents are scrolled off the left hand edge of the current viewing window.
scrollTop property returns a value that represents the distance between the top-most edge of the element and the top-most edge of the current viewing window. When used with the
<TEXTAREA> element, the
scrollTop property is a value indicative of the extent to which the referenced element has been scrolled vertically. If the contents of the
<TEXTAREA> element are visible, then the
scrollTop property will be 0, only increasing as the contents of the element are scrolled off the top of the current viewing window.
scrollHeight property, the
scrollWidth property reflects a value that represents the total scrollable width of the contents of the
tabIndex property reflects (or sets) the value of the
TABINDEX attribute, when used in
type property returns 'textarea' for the
<TEXTAREA> element. It represents a string value giving a description of the type of form element being referenced.
value property reflects (or sets), the
VALUE attribute for the
wrap property directly reflects any settings of the
WRAP attribute (see above).
<TEXTAREA...> element/object supports all of the standard Dynamic HTML methods (i.e. click, contains, getAttribute, insertAdjacentHTML, insertAdjacentText, removeAttribute, scrollIntoView and setAttribute). Details of these can be found in the standard Dynamic HTML Methods topics.
<TEXTAREA> element supports the following methods:
blur event can be used to force the users focus away from the referenced
<TEXTAREA> element, firing the
createTextRange method can be invoked to create a TextRange object from the contents of the
<TEXTAREA> element. See the TextRange object topic for details of properties, methods and events applicable to text ranges.
focus method can be used to pass the users focus to the referenced
<TEXTAREA> element, forcing the
onfocus event to fire.
<TEXTAREA...> element/object supports all of the standard Dynamic HTML events (i.e. onclick, ondblclick, ondragstart, onfilterchange, onhelp, onkeydown, onkeypress, onkeyup, onmousedown, onmousemove, onmouseout, onmouseover, onmouseup and onselectstart). Details of these can be found in the standard Dynamic HTML events topics.
The following events are also supported by the
onafterupdate event is fired after data is transferred from the element to the data provider and will only fire after the
onbeforeupdate event has fired and was successful. For more information on Data Binding, see the Data Binding topic.
onbeforeupdate fires when a data bound element loses the focus, or the current document is unloaded and will only fire if the value of the element is different to the original value that was present when the element received the users focus. Note that
onbeforeupdate is a cancelable event (setting
returnValue=false for the Event object), which allows the document /script author a chance to validate the new data entered by the user on the client-side, before sending the data to the data provider. For more information on Data Binding, see the Data Binding topic.
When the referenced
<TEXTAREA> element loses the users focus, the
onblur event is fired. On the fly form validation can make use of the
onblur event to check form elements as the user is entering information.
onchange event is fired when the user commits changes to an
<TEXTAREA> element. The event does not fire when the actual changes are made, but when the user 'commits' them, by either submitting the form, or by 'blurring' (i.e. removing focus from) the element. Any code using the
onchange event is executed before the
onblur event (see above), if the change is committed by the user removing the focus.
onerrorupdate event fires when a data transfer error occurs, through some action by the user (i.e. pressing the 'Stop' button on the browser for example), but not if a script generates the transfer error. For more information on Data Binding, see the Data Binding topic.
When the user passes the focus to any
<TEXTAREA> element, the
onfocus event is fired for that element.
onrowenter event fires on the data source control when the current record has been changed, so new data is available to populate the HTML display elements that are bound to the data source. Somewhat confusingly, this will typically happen after the
onrowexit event has been fired. For more information on Data Binding, see the Data Binding topic.
onrowexit event is fired immediately before the data source changes the current record (i.e. when the user has requested another record, or set of records by pressing a button perhaps). Note that unlike the
onrowexit is fired by the data source, not any of the HTML elements used to display the data. Changes to the data in the HTML elements should have been transferred to the data source (with validation being taken care of in the
onrowexit will also fire if the record position is changed through scripting. For more information on Data Binding, see the Data Binding topic.
onscroll event is fired when the
<TEXTAREA> text box is scrolled, by the user using the scrollbars on the
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