Spry Validation: Textarea

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It's been a while since I reviewed a Spry Validation example, so I thought I'd take a few minutes this morning to demonstrate another example - the Textarea validation. As with the other validation types (I've linked to my examples below), you begin by including a CSS and JavaScript library:

<html> <head> <script src="/spryjs/SpryValidationTextarea.js" type="text/javascript"></script> <link href="/sprycss/SpryValidationTextarea.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" /> </head>

You next take your textarea, and wrap it in a span:

<span id="sprytextarea1"> <textarea name="textarea1" id="textarea1" cols="45" rows="5"></textarea> </span>

As with the other validation types, the span wrap acts like a 'marker' to Spry to help it work with your form field and validation.

Next we "enable" validation:

<script type="text/javascript"> var sprytextarea1 = new Spry.Widget.ValidationTextarea("sprytextarea1"); </script>

The ID passed to ValidationTextarea is the ID used for the span that wraps the textarea. As before, we can add a simple validation message to require the textarea:

<span class="textareaRequiredMsg">A value is required.</span>

Spry automatically hides/shows this span based on the value in the textarea. You can see a super exciting demo of this here:


Where things get interesting are all the little options you have with validation. I bet the one folks will use most is the maxChars option. As you can guess, this lets you set a maximum number of characters. You can enable this like so:

var sprytextarea1 = new Spry.Widget.ValidationTextarea("sprytextarea1", {maxChars:100});

What's interesting is that there doesn't seem to be a corresponding span error class for this. I tried:

<span class="textareaMaxCharsMsg">You typed more than 100 characters!</span>

But it never showed up. Instead - Spry blocked the characters. When I tried to type more than 100, I was stopped. If I pasted a big block, it got cropped. I guess the team figured there was no need to support a message for something you couldn't do.

There is a minChars option as well, and the message does instead work for that:

<span class="textareaMinCharsMsg">You need to type 5 chars!</span>

Spry also supports a counter, which is nice. You can either show people how many characters they have left, or show them how many they have typed, or both! Here is a simple example of showing the number of characters. First, we add a new span:

Chars Remaining: <span id="my_counter_span"></span>

Note the ID. Now when I create my validation object, I enable the character counter with two options:


This tells Spry to show the number of characters left. I'd use "chars_count" to show the total number of characters typed.


This simply tells Spry what span id to update. Simple, right?

Another cool little feature is "hint" - the hint attribute lets you put a hint inside the textarea telling the user what to type:

hint:"Enter Wisdom"

On initially loading the form, the user would see "Enter Wisdom" in the textarea. As soon as they click, the text goes away.

You can see a demo of all of the above here:


Lastly, to see the complete docs for the Textarea validator, see the online version: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/spry/articles/textarea_overview/index.html

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a developer advocate for HERE Technologies. He focuses on JavaScript, serverless and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

Lafayette, LA https://www.raymondcamden.com