A method must be provided for users to enter text and other character-based information without restriction.


*** Forms as a way to collect information in an ordered manner pre-date computing by at least a century. Many standards were developed in the paper form era, and have translated to computerized database forms, and then to web forms. The ubiquity of the web -- to software developers if not all users -- means forms for all computing types have settled on these standard input methods.

This pattern covers the text and textarea form methods.


Text - one-line

Textarea - multi-line

In certain cases, such as the numeric entry field for the Dialer, mobile devices may display an entry field that appears to be a Text field, but is in fact a Textarea. This variation is used due to the limited space on mobile devices -- the field is only as large as is needed at any one time.

Interaction Details

immediate entry

cursor and focus...

enter is a linefeed on multi-line, submits forms or exits the field on single line

Pre-populated text... is just like user text, and can be edited.

Presentation Details

notes about input method and reference

field hints in the field, adjacent to the field, pros and cons of each

hints in the field must be differentiated from actual content, such as by being gray and italics...

hints in the field are not pre-populated, and disappear when focus is granted. when all content is removed (or none entered) and focus is removed, the hint appears again...