Customize Textarea Resizing with CSS

Written by David Walsh on December 16, 2010 · 19 Comments

Webkit-based web browsers like Safari and Chrome have led web innovation the past few years.  Whether its implementing new JavaScript APIs, providing more CSS capabilities than other browsers, or simply providing blazing-fast page rendering, WebKit has been head and shoulders above other browsers in page control and CSS features.  One of those subtle features is the ability to control textarea resizing.  FireFox will provide this same capability in Firefox 4.  Let me show how to control textarea resizing with CSS.

The CSS

Textarea resize control is available via the CSS3 resize property:

textarea { resize:both; } /* none|horizontal|vertical|both */
textarea.vert { resize:vertical; }
textarea.noResize { resize:none; }

Allowable values self-explanatory:  none (disables textarea resizing), both, vertical and horizontal.  The default in Firefox, Safari, and Chrome is both.

If you want to constrain the width and height of the textarea element, that's not a problem:  these browsers also respect max-height, max-width, min-height, and min-width CSS properties to provide resizing within certain proportions:

#confinedSpace textarea { resize:vertical; max-height:300px; min-height:200px; }
#confinedSpace textarea.horiz { resize:horizontal; max-width:400px; min-width:200px; }

Textarea resizing is hugely helpful when you're looking to post a long message.  Of course sometimes you may want to disable textarea resizing to accommodate a design, and that's fine too.  As a general rule, however, you should allow resizing.

Comments

  1. text area deyince bende bişi anlatacak sandım

  2. thank, don’t lnow about resize in css

  3. Thank you very much! I didn’t know this css attribute. Is it supportet by IE?

  4. No, IE will not support Resize. Check (http://www.impressivewebs.com/css3-support-ie9/) for a table with what CSS3 attributes are supported. Best to stick with jQuery to get cross-browser compatibility if you want to implement this.

  5. Sanjay Patel April 4, 2011

    It work’s on Both Firefox and IE9.

    i.e.

    .textareaResize { resize:none;} in CSS class.

  6. Michael June 27, 2011

    I found a page that has a liquid jquery textarea that looks good.

    http://www.ajaxera.com/jquery-sexy-tools-textarea/

  7. I do not recommend the use of Internet Explorer because it is very stupid

  8. I try “resize: vertical” and it works in Firefox (8), but it doesn’t work in Chrome (15) and Safari.

  9. I hate IE, never do what I want

  10. I think that IE is the worst browser ever.

    • Its not IE’s fault, its on W3C. Take a look at this http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-ui/#resize The paper is still in the Working Draft. And if you haven’t heard of the story what happened with gradient and ohter browsers, read this http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2012/06/25/unprefixed-css3-gradients-in-ie10.aspx. Its mandatory for a vendor to wait for the recommendation by W3C and then give the complete support.

      IE10 is getting very fast and complying with HTML5 and CSS3 standard to FULL extent. Take an example of placeholder attribute of HTML5 tag..

      Firefox provide :-moz-placeholder for CSS3.

      Safari and Chrome provide ::webkit-input-placeholder.

      IE10 provide :-ms-input-placeholder

      If I tell you this information, you may say its a good thing that most browsers support this HTML5 & CSS3 feature and you will move on. But what about “the quality” of this implementation: Firefox doesn’t support line-height property for placeholder. Chrome doesn’t support padding, Safari supports 5 out of 13 properties listed here http://newilk.com/testing/Placeholder_styling

      Opera dropped the support of placeholder styling since Opera 11.

      IE10 is the only browser supporting all properties for placeholder style.

  11. Thanks alot…. it works… :D

  12. Is it possible to style the resize handle with CSS ?

    • I highly doubt it :(

    • In webkit you can play around with the scrollbar styling.
      I used >
      ::-webkit-resizer{background-color:transparent;}
      ::-webkit-scrollbar-corner{background-color:rgba(0,0,0,0.2);}

      to style the resizer on the textareas in one of my sites.

  13. tienduydlu June 7, 2013

    I have a question?
    When i try to resize this text area. All component under this text area will auto push down or push up when i expand or collapse text area. How can i do it? Please and thanks so much?

  14. mahamad August 21, 2013

    You can just check

    I think that is working in every browser … i am sure ….

  15. Thanks you David!
    For a compatibility on each browser: http://caniuse.com/#search=resize

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