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Count the number of characters of a textarea

Written byPhuoc Nguyen
18 Mar, 2020
Level 1 — Basic
Assume that we have a `textarea` and a normal `div` elements for showing how many characters user has been entering:
<textarea id="message"></textarea>
<div id="counter"></div>

Use the `maxlength` attribute

The `maxlength` attribute sets the maximum number of characters that user can put in the textarea.
<textarea maxlength="200" id="message"></textarea>

Count the number of characters

Handle the `input` event which is triggered if the value of element is changed:
const messageEle = document.getElementById('message');
const counterEle = document.getElementById('counter');

messageEle.addEventListener('input', function (e) {
const target = e.target;

// Get the `maxlength` attribute
const maxLength = target.getAttribute('maxlength');

// Count the current number of characters
const currentLength = target.value.length;

counterEle.innerHTML = `${currentLength}/${maxLength}`;
Good to know
The common mistake is to capture the `keyup` event. It doesn't work in some cases such as:
  • User drags a text into the textarea
  • User right-clicks in the textarea and chooses Paste from the context menu


See also

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