Permitted Context: %Body.Content
Content Model: PCDATA (i.e. text and entities)


To let users enter more than one line of text, use the TEXTAREA element. For example:

<TEXTAREA NAME="address" ROWS=64 COLS=6>
HaL Computer Systems
1315 Dell Avenue
Campbell, California 95008

The text up to the end tag is used to initialize the field's value. The initialization text can contain SGML entities, e.g. for accented characters, but is otherwise treated as literal text. This end tag is always required even if the field is initially blank. When submitting a form, the line terminators are implementation dependent. Servers should be capable of recognizing a CR immediately followed by an LF, or separate CRs and LFs as all signifying the ends of lines. User agents should tolerate the same range of line terminators within the initialization text.

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. User agents should allow text to grow beyond these limits by scrolling as needed. The user agent is recommended to wrap words as they are entered, to fit within the textarea field. It is further recommended that a means is provided for users to turn this feature off and on.

Note: In the initial design for forms, multi-line text fields were supported by the INPUT element with TYPE=TEXT. Unfortunately, this causes problems for fields with long text values as SGML limits the length of attribute literals. The HTML 2.0 DTD allows for up to 1024 characters (the SGML default is only 240 characters).

Permitted Attributes

An SGML identifier used as the target for hypertext links or for naming particular elements in associated style sheets. Identifiers are NAME tokens and must be unique within the scope of the current document.
This is one of the ISO standard language abbreviations, e.g. "en.uk" for the variation of English spoken in the United Kingdom. It can be used by parsers to select language specific choices for quotation marks, ligatures and hypenation rules etc. The language attribute is composed from the two letter language code from ISO 639, optionally followed by a period and a two letter country code from ISO 3166.
This a space separated list of SGML NAME tokens and is used to subclass tag names. By convention, the class names are interpreted hierarchically, with the most general class on the left and the most specific on the right, where classes are separated by a period. The CLASS attribute is most commonly used to attach a different style to some element, but it is recommended that where practical class names should be picked on the basis of the element's semantics, as this will permit other uses, such as restricting search through documents by matching on element class names. The conventions for choosing class names are outside the scope of this specification.
The formal name of the field which is used in the form's contents list.
This gives the visible number of text lines shown by the field. User agents should allow text to grow beyond these limits by scrolling as needed.
The visible number of characters across the field. User agents should allow text to grow beyond these limits by scrolling as needed.
When present, the field should be rendered as normal, but can't be modified by the user. Where practical the rendering should provide a cue that the field is disabled e.g. by graying out the text, changing the color of the background or similar.
This attribute specifies an error message explaining why the field's current value is incorrect. When this attribute is missing, the field can be assumed to be ok. User agents are recommended to provide a cue to indicate that the field is in error.
Take values TOP or MIDDLE or BOTTOM, defining whether the top or middle or bottom row of the field should be aligned with the baseline for the text line in which the TEXTAREA element appears. The default is align=top.

With ALIGN=LEFT, the field will float down and over to the current left margin, and subsequent text will wrap around the right hand side of the field. Likewise for ALIGN=RIGHT, the field aligns with the current right margin and, and text wraps around the left.