A Textarea Element That Autoresizes

Due to the fact that the HTML <textarea> element does not automatically grow to fit its content, many developer look for plugins and scripts to enable this feature. This bit of JavaScript will cause any applicable <textarea> elements to resize automatically to fit the content typed or pasted into it.

The code has the following features:

  • Uses a hidden clone element (a <div>) that has the same typographical properties as the <textarea>
  • Has no dependencies (e.g. jQuery)
  • Will autosize any <textarea> that has a class of txta
  • Works in all browsers, even old IE

Here’s the HTML:

<textarea placeholder="Type multiple lines of content here." class="txta"></textarea>

Here’s the CSS:

.txta {
    width: 100%;
    max-width: 500px;
    min-height: 100px;
    font-family: Arial, sans-serif;
    font-size: 16px;
    overflow: hidden;
    line-height: 1.4;

And the JavaScript (commented):

// Targets all textareas with class "txta" 
let textareas = document.querySelectorAll('.txta'), 
    hiddenDiv = document.createElement('div'), 
    content = null; 

// Adds a class to all textareas 
for (let j of textareas) { 

// Build the hidden div's attributes 

// The line below is needed if you move the style lines to CSS 
// hiddenDiv.classList.add('hiddendiv'); 

// Add the "txta" styles, which are common to both textarea and hiddendiv 
// If you want, you can remove those from CSS and add them via JS 

// Add the styles for the hidden div 
// These can be in the CSS, just remove these three lines and uncomment the CSS 
hiddenDiv.style.display = 'none'; 
hiddenDiv.style.whiteSpace = 'pre-wrap'; 
hiddenDiv.style.wordWrap = 'break-word'; 

// Loop through all the textareas and add the event listener 
for(let i of textareas) { 
    (function(i) { 
      // Note: Use 'keyup' instead of 'input' 
      // if you want older IE support 
      i.addEventListener('input', function() { 

        // Append hiddendiv to parent of textarea, so the size is correct 

        // Remove this if you want the user to be able to resize it in modern browsers 
        i.style.resize = 'none'; 

        // This removes scrollbars 
        i.style.overflow = 'hidden'; 

        // Every input/change, grab the content 
        content = i.value; 

        // Add the same content to the hidden div 

        // This is for old IE 
        content = content.replace(/\n/g, '<br>'); 

        // The <br ..> part is for old IE 
        // This also fixes the jumpy way the textarea grows if line-height isn't included 
        hiddenDiv.innerHTML = content + '<br style="line-height: 3px;">'; 
        // Briefly make the hidden div block but invisible 
        // This is in order to read the height 
        hiddenDiv.style.visibility = 'hidden'; 
        hiddenDiv.style.display = 'block'; 
        i.style.height = hiddenDiv.offsetHeight + 'px'; 
        // Make the hidden div display:none again 
        hiddenDiv.style.visibility = 'visible'; 
        hiddenDiv.style.display = 'none'; 

The HTML in the demo also includes a commented-out second <textarea> element that you can uncomment to test multiple textareas on the same page.


Note: To the best of our knowledge, the information above and the snippet are accurate and up to date. However, in case you notice something wrong, please report snippet or leave a comment below.
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