Matt Button

Textarea maxlength with Jquery

The other day I was trying to find a way to limit the amount of characters that a user could enter into a textbox. For some reason you can’t set the maxlength attribute on textareas, so I decided to make this little jquery snippet that truncates a user’s input once they go past a certain limit.

There’s now an updated version of this script here

Save this snippet in a js file:

        var max = parseInt($(this).attr(’maxlength’));
        if($(this).val().length > max){
            $(this).val($(this).val().substr(0, $(this).attr('maxlength')));

        $(this).parent().find('.charsRemaining').html('You have ' + (max - $(this).val().length) + ' characters remaining');

Just download and include jquery like so:

<script type="text/javascript" src="jquery.js "></script>

And then include the js file containing the above snippet Then, to limit a textarea do this:

<textarea maxlength="255"></textarea>

If you want to show the user the ‘You have x characters remaining’ message, then append an element with the ‘charsRemaining’ class, like so:

<p class="charsRemaining">You have 255 characters remaining</p>

You have to make sure that the p and textarea elements share the same parent, else the message won’t be updated.

UPDATE: Thanks for the parseInt() tip Jason

There’s now an updated version of this script here