Components

Textarea

Do not include personal or financial information, like your National Insurance number or credit card details.
<div id="more-detail" class="govuk-form-group">
  <label for="more-detail-input" class="govuk-label">
    <h1 class="govuk-heading-l">
      Can you provide more detail?
    </h1>
  </label>
  <span id="more-detail-hint" class="govuk-hint">
    Do not include personal or financial information,
    like your National Insurance number or credit card
    details.
  </span>
  <textarea
    name="more-detail"
    aria-describedby="more-detail-hint"
    class="govuk-textarea"
    id="more-detail-input"
    rows="5"
  ></textarea>
</div>
<Textarea
  hint="Do not include personal or financial information, like your National Insurance number or credit card details."
  label={
    <h1 className="govuk-heading-l">
      Can you provide more detail?
    </h1>
  }
  name="more-detail"
/>
Props
Name Type Default Description
id string - 'id' attribute to place on the base HTML element
classBlock string - Block name override in BEM style classes applied to all elements
classModifiers other - BEM style modifiers to apply to the base HTML element
className string - Extra classes to apply to the base HTML element
autoComplete string -
autoFocus boolean -
cols number -
dirName string -
disabled boolean -
form string -
maxLength number -
minLength number -
name string -
placeholder string -
readOnly boolean -
required boolean -
rows number 5
value other -
wrap string -
onChange function -
defaultChecked boolean -
defaultValue other -
suppressContentEditableWarning boolean -
suppressHydrationWarning boolean -
accessKey string -
contentEditable other -
contextMenu string -
dir string -
draggable other -
hidden boolean -
lang string -
slot string -
spellCheck other -
style other -
tabIndex number -
title string -
translate enum -
radioGroup string -
role string -
about string -
datatype string -
inlist other -
prefix string -
property string -
resource string -
typeof string -
vocab string -
autoCapitalize string -
autoCorrect string -
autoSave string -
color string -
itemProp string -
itemScope boolean -
itemType string -
itemID string -
itemRef string -
results number -
security string -
unselectable enum -
inputMode enum - Hints at the type of data that might be entered by the user while editing the element or its contents
is string - Specify that a standard HTML element should behave like a defined custom built-in element
aria-activedescendant string - Identifies the currently active element when DOM focus is on a composite widget, textbox, group, or application.
aria-atomic other - Indicates whether assistive technologies will present all, or only parts of, the changed region based on the change notifications defined by the aria-relevant attribute.
aria-autocomplete enum - Indicates whether inputting text could trigger display of one or more predictions of the user's intended value for an input and specifies how predictions would be presented if they are made.
aria-busy other - Indicates an element is being modified and that assistive technologies MAY want to wait until the modifications are complete before exposing them to the user.
aria-checked other - Indicates the current "checked" state of checkboxes, radio buttons, and other widgets.
aria-colcount number - Defines the total number of columns in a table, grid, or treegrid.
aria-colindex number - Defines an element's column index or position with respect to the total number of columns within a table, grid, or treegrid.
aria-colspan number - Defines the number of columns spanned by a cell or gridcell within a table, grid, or treegrid.
aria-controls string - Identifies the element (or elements) whose contents or presence are controlled by the current element.
aria-current other - Indicates the element that represents the current item within a container or set of related elements.
aria-describedby string - Identifies the element (or elements) that describes the object.
aria-details string - Identifies the element that provides a detailed, extended description for the object.
aria-disabled other - Indicates that the element is perceivable but disabled, so it is not editable or otherwise operable.
aria-dropeffect enum - Indicates what functions can be performed when a dragged object is released on the drop target.
aria-errormessage string - Identifies the element that provides an error message for the object.
aria-expanded other - Indicates whether the element, or another grouping element it controls, is currently expanded or collapsed.
aria-flowto string - Identifies the next element (or elements) in an alternate reading order of content which, at the user's discretion, allows assistive technology to override the general default of reading in document source order.
aria-grabbed other - Indicates an element's "grabbed" state in a drag-and-drop operation.
aria-haspopup other - Indicates the availability and type of interactive popup element, such as menu or dialog, that can be triggered by an element.
aria-hidden other - Indicates whether the element is exposed to an accessibility API.
aria-invalid other - Indicates the entered value does not conform to the format expected by the application.
aria-keyshortcuts string - Indicates keyboard shortcuts that an author has implemented to activate or give focus to an element.
aria-label string - Defines a string value that labels the current element.
aria-labelledby string - Identifies the element (or elements) that labels the current element.
aria-level number - Defines the hierarchical level of an element within a structure.
aria-live enum - Indicates that an element will be updated, and describes the types of updates the user agents, assistive technologies, and user can expect from the live region.
aria-modal other - Indicates whether an element is modal when displayed.
aria-multiline other - Indicates whether a text box accepts multiple lines of input or only a single line.
aria-multiselectable other - Indicates that the user may select more than one item from the current selectable descendants.
aria-orientation enum - Indicates whether the element's orientation is horizontal, vertical, or unknown/ambiguous.
aria-owns string - Identifies an element (or elements) in order to define a visual, functional, or contextual parent/child relationship between DOM elements where the DOM hierarchy cannot be used to represent the relationship.
aria-placeholder string - Defines a short hint (a word or short phrase) intended to aid the user with data entry when the control has no value. A hint could be a sample value or a brief description of the expected format.
aria-posinset number - Defines an element's number or position in the current set of listitems or treeitems. Not required if all elements in the set are present in the DOM.
aria-pressed other - Indicates the current "pressed" state of toggle buttons.
aria-readonly other - Indicates that the element is not editable, but is otherwise operable.
aria-relevant enum - Indicates what notifications the user agent will trigger when the accessibility tree within a live region is modified.
aria-required other - Indicates that user input is required on the element before a form may be submitted.
aria-roledescription string - Defines a human-readable, author-localized description for the role of an element.
aria-rowcount number - Defines the total number of rows in a table, grid, or treegrid.
aria-rowindex number - Defines an element's row index or position with respect to the total number of rows within a table, grid, or treegrid.
aria-rowspan number - Defines the number of rows spanned by a cell or gridcell within a table, grid, or treegrid.
aria-selected other - Indicates the current "selected" state of various widgets.
aria-setsize number - Defines the number of items in the current set of listitems or treeitems. Not required if all elements in the set are present in the DOM.
aria-sort enum - Indicates if items in a table or grid are sorted in ascending or descending order.
aria-valuemax number - Defines the maximum allowed value for a range widget.
aria-valuemin number - Defines the minimum allowed value for a range widget.
aria-valuenow number - Defines the current value for a range widget.
aria-valuetext string - Defines the human readable text alternative of aria-valuenow for a range widget.
dangerouslySetInnerHTML other -
onCopy function -
onCopyCapture function -
onCut function -
onCutCapture function -
onPaste function -
onPasteCapture function -
onCompositionEnd function -
onCompositionEndCapture function -
onCompositionStart function -
onCompositionStartCapture function -
onCompositionUpdate function -
onCompositionUpdateCapture function -
onFocus function -
onFocusCapture function -
onBlur function -
onBlurCapture function -
onChangeCapture function -
onBeforeInput function -
onBeforeInputCapture function -
onInput function -
onInputCapture function -
onReset function -
onResetCapture function -
onSubmit function -
onSubmitCapture function -
onInvalid function -
onInvalidCapture function -
onLoad function -
onLoadCapture function -
onError function -
onErrorCapture function -
onKeyDown function -
onKeyDownCapture function -
onKeyPress function -
onKeyPressCapture function -
onKeyUp function -
onKeyUpCapture function -
onAbort function -
onAbortCapture function -
onCanPlay function -
onCanPlayCapture function -
onCanPlayThrough function -
onCanPlayThroughCapture function -
onDurationChange function -
onDurationChangeCapture function -
onEmptied function -
onEmptiedCapture function -
onEncrypted function -
onEncryptedCapture function -
onEnded function -
onEndedCapture function -
onLoadedData function -
onLoadedDataCapture function -
onLoadedMetadata function -
onLoadedMetadataCapture function -
onLoadStart function -
onLoadStartCapture function -
onPause function -
onPauseCapture function -
onPlay function -
onPlayCapture function -
onPlaying function -
onPlayingCapture function -
onProgress function -
onProgressCapture function -
onRateChange function -
onRateChangeCapture function -
onSeeked function -
onSeekedCapture function -
onSeeking function -
onSeekingCapture function -
onStalled function -
onStalledCapture function -
onSuspend function -
onSuspendCapture function -
onTimeUpdate function -
onTimeUpdateCapture function -
onVolumeChange function -
onVolumeChangeCapture function -
onWaiting function -
onWaitingCapture function -
onAuxClick function -
onAuxClickCapture function -
onClick function -
onClickCapture function -
onContextMenu function -
onContextMenuCapture function -
onDoubleClick function -
onDoubleClickCapture function -
onDrag function -
onDragCapture function -
onDragEnd function -
onDragEndCapture function -
onDragEnter function -
onDragEnterCapture function -
onDragExit function -
onDragExitCapture function -
onDragLeave function -
onDragLeaveCapture function -
onDragOver function -
onDragOverCapture function -
onDragStart function -
onDragStartCapture function -
onDrop function -
onDropCapture function -
onMouseDown function -
onMouseDownCapture function -
onMouseEnter function -
onMouseLeave function -
onMouseMove function -
onMouseMoveCapture function -
onMouseOut function -
onMouseOutCapture function -
onMouseOver function -
onMouseOverCapture function -
onMouseUp function -
onMouseUpCapture function -
onSelect function -
onSelectCapture function -
onTouchCancel function -
onTouchCancelCapture function -
onTouchEnd function -
onTouchEndCapture function -
onTouchMove function -
onTouchMoveCapture function -
onTouchStart function -
onTouchStartCapture function -
onPointerDown function -
onPointerDownCapture function -
onPointerMove function -
onPointerMoveCapture function -
onPointerUp function -
onPointerUpCapture function -
onPointerCancel function -
onPointerCancelCapture function -
onPointerEnter function -
onPointerEnterCapture function -
onPointerLeave function -
onPointerLeaveCapture function -
onPointerOver function -
onPointerOverCapture function -
onPointerOut function -
onPointerOutCapture function -
onGotPointerCapture function -
onGotPointerCaptureCapture function -
onLostPointerCapture function -
onLostPointerCaptureCapture function -
onScroll function -
onScrollCapture function -
onWheel function -
onWheelCapture function -
onAnimationStart function -
onAnimationStartCapture function -
onAnimationEnd function -
onAnimationEndCapture function -
onAnimationIteration function -
onAnimationIterationCapture function -
onTransitionEnd function -
onTransitionEndCapture function -
error other - Error message
hint other - Hint
label other - REQUIRED. Label
width number - Width of the field in characters (approximate)

When to use this component

Use the textarea component when you need to let users enter an amount of text that’s longer than a single line.

When not to use this component

Users can find open-ended questions difficult to answer. It might be better to break up one complex question into a series of simple ones, for example where users can select from options using radios.

If you need to ask an open question

Do not use the textarea component if you need to let users enter shorter answers no longer than a single line, such as a phone number or name. In this case, you should use the text input component.

How it works

You must label textareas. Placeholder text is not a suitable substitute for a label, as it disappears when users click inside the textarea.

Labels must be aligned above the textarea they refer to. They should be short, direct and written in sentence case. Do not use colons at the end of labels.

Do not include personal or financial information, like your National Insurance number or credit card details.
<div id="more-detail" class="govuk-form-group">
  <label for="more-detail-input" class="govuk-label">
    <h1 class="govuk-heading-l">
      Can you provide more detail?
    </h1>
  </label>
  <span id="more-detail-hint" class="govuk-hint">
    Do not include personal or financial information,
    like your National Insurance number or credit card
    details.
  </span>
  <textarea
    name="more-detail"
    aria-describedby="more-detail-hint"
    class="govuk-textarea"
    id="more-detail-input"
    rows="5"
  ></textarea>
</div>
<Textarea
  hint="Do not include personal or financial information, like your National Insurance number or credit card details."
  label={
    <h1 className="govuk-heading-l">
      Can you provide more detail?
    </h1>
  }
  name="more-detail"
/>

Use appropriately-sized textareas

Make the height of a textarea proportional to the amount of text you expect users to enter. You can set the height of a textarea by by specifying the rows attribute.

Do not include personal or financial information, like your National Insurance number or credit card details.
<div id="more-detail" class="govuk-form-group">
  <label for="more-detail-input" class="govuk-label">
    <h1 class="govuk-heading-l">
      Can you provide more detail?
    </h1>
  </label>
  <span id="more-detail-hint" class="govuk-hint">
    Do not include personal or financial information,
    like your National Insurance number or credit card
    details.
  </span>
  <textarea
    name="more-detail"
    aria-describedby="more-detail-hint"
    class="govuk-textarea"
    id="more-detail-input"
    rows="8"
  ></textarea>
</div>
<Textarea
  hint="Do not include personal or financial information, like your National Insurance number or credit card details."
  label={
    <h1 className="govuk-heading-l">
      Can you provide more detail?
    </h1>
  }
  name="more-detail"
  rows="8"
/>

Do not disable copy and paste

Users will often need to copy and paste information into a textarea, so do not stop them from doing this.

If you’re asking more than one question on the page

If you’re asking more than one question on the page, do not set the contents of the <label> as the page heading. Read more about asking multiple questions on question pages.

<div id="more-detail" class="govuk-form-group">
  <label for="more-detail-input" class="govuk-label">
    Can you provide more detail?
  </label>
  <textarea
    name="more-detail"
    class="govuk-textarea"
    id="more-detail-input"
    rows="5"
  ></textarea>
</div>
<Textarea
  label="Can you provide more detail?"
  name="more-detail"
/>

Limiting the number of characters

If there’s a good reason to limit the number of characters users can enter, you can use the character count component.

Error messages

Error messages should be styled like this:

Do not include personal or financial information, like your National Insurance number or credit card details.Error: Enter more detail
<div
  id="more-detail"
  class="govuk-form-group govuk-form-group--error"
>
  <label for="more-detail-input" class="govuk-label">
    <h1 class="govuk-heading-l">
      Can you provide more detail?
    </h1>
  </label>
  <span id="more-detail-hint" class="govuk-hint">
    Do not include personal or financial information,
    like your National Insurance number or credit card
    details.
  </span>
  <span
    id="more-detail-error"
    class="govuk-error-message"
  >
    <span class="govuk-visually-hidden">Error:</span>
    Enter more detail
  </span>
  <textarea
    name="more-detail"
    aria-describedby="more-detail-hint"
    class="govuk-textarea govuk-textarea--error"
    id="more-detail-input"
    rows="5"
  ></textarea>
</div>
<Textarea
  hint="Do not include personal or financial information, like your National Insurance number or credit card details."
  label={
    <h1 className="govuk-heading-l">
      Can you provide more detail?
    </h1>
  }
  name="more-detail"
  error="Enter more detail"
/>

Make sure errors follow the guidance in error message and have specific error messages for specific error states.

If the input is empty

Say ‘Enter [whatever it is] ’. For example, ‘Enter summary’.

If the input is too long

Say ‘ [whatever it is] must be [number] characters or fewer’. For example, ‘Summary must be 400 characters or fewer’.

If the input is too short

Say ‘ [whatever it is] must be [number] characters or more’. For example, ‘Summary must be 10 characters or more’.

If the input is too long or too short

Say ‘ [whatever it is] must be between [number] and [number] characters’. For example, ‘Summary must be between 10 and 400 characters’.

If the input uses characters that are not allowed and you know what the characters are

Say ‘ [whatever it is] must not include [characters] ’. For example, ‘Summary must not include è and £’.

If the input uses characters that are not allowed and you do not know what the characters are

Say ‘ [whatever it is] must only include [list of allowed characters] ’. For example, ‘Summary must only include letters a to z, hyphens, spaces and apostrophes.