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
value other
wrap string
onChange other
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 other
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 other
onCopyCapture other
onCut other
onCutCapture other
onPaste other
onPasteCapture other
onCompositionEnd other
onCompositionEndCapture other
onCompositionStart other
onCompositionStartCapture other
onCompositionUpdate other
onCompositionUpdateCapture other
onFocus other
onFocusCapture other
onBlur other
onBlurCapture other
onChangeCapture other
onBeforeInput other
onBeforeInputCapture other
onInput other
onInputCapture other
onReset other
onResetCapture other
onSubmit other
onSubmitCapture other
onInvalid other
onInvalidCapture other
onLoad other
onLoadCapture other
onError other
onErrorCapture other
onKeyDown other
onKeyDownCapture other
onKeyPress other
onKeyPressCapture other
onKeyUp other
onKeyUpCapture other
onAbort other
onAbortCapture other
onCanPlay other
onCanPlayCapture other
onCanPlayThrough other
onCanPlayThroughCapture other
onDurationChange other
onDurationChangeCapture other
onEmptied other
onEmptiedCapture other
onEncrypted other
onEncryptedCapture other
onEnded other
onEndedCapture other
onLoadedData other
onLoadedDataCapture other
onLoadedMetadata other
onLoadedMetadataCapture other
onLoadStart other
onLoadStartCapture other
onPause other
onPauseCapture other
onPlay other
onPlayCapture other
onPlaying other
onPlayingCapture other
onProgress other
onProgressCapture other
onRateChange other
onRateChangeCapture other
onSeeked other
onSeekedCapture other
onSeeking other
onSeekingCapture other
onStalled other
onStalledCapture other
onSuspend other
onSuspendCapture other
onTimeUpdate other
onTimeUpdateCapture other
onVolumeChange other
onVolumeChangeCapture other
onWaiting other
onWaitingCapture other
onAuxClick other
onAuxClickCapture other
onClick other
onClickCapture other
onContextMenu other
onContextMenuCapture other
onDoubleClick other
onDoubleClickCapture other
onDrag other
onDragCapture other
onDragEnd other
onDragEndCapture other
onDragEnter other
onDragEnterCapture other
onDragExit other
onDragExitCapture other
onDragLeave other
onDragLeaveCapture other
onDragOver other
onDragOverCapture other
onDragStart other
onDragStartCapture other
onDrop other
onDropCapture other
onMouseDown other
onMouseDownCapture other
onMouseEnter other
onMouseLeave other
onMouseMove other
onMouseMoveCapture other
onMouseOut other
onMouseOutCapture other
onMouseOver other
onMouseOverCapture other
onMouseUp other
onMouseUpCapture other
onSelect other
onSelectCapture other
onTouchCancel other
onTouchCancelCapture other
onTouchEnd other
onTouchEndCapture other
onTouchMove other
onTouchMoveCapture other
onTouchStart other
onTouchStartCapture other
onPointerDown other
onPointerDownCapture other
onPointerMove other
onPointerMoveCapture other
onPointerUp other
onPointerUpCapture other
onPointerCancel other
onPointerCancelCapture other
onPointerEnter other
onPointerEnterCapture other
onPointerLeave other
onPointerLeaveCapture other
onPointerOver other
onPointerOverCapture other
onPointerOut other
onPointerOutCapture other
onGotPointerCapture other
onGotPointerCaptureCapture other
onLostPointerCapture other
onLostPointerCaptureCapture other
onScroll other
onScrollCapture other
onWheel other
onWheelCapture other
onAnimationStart other
onAnimationStartCapture other
onAnimationEnd other
onAnimationEndCapture other
onAnimationIteration other
onAnimationIterationCapture other
onTransitionEnd other
onTransitionEndCapture other
error other Error message
hint other Hint
label other 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.