readonly (HTML attribute)

Spec
Depr. Version
No HTML 3.02
Browser support (more…)
IE5.5+ FF1+ SA1.3+ OP9.2+ CH2+
Full Full Full Full Full

Syntax

readonly="readonly"

Description

The "readonly" attribute stops the user from changing the content, but doesn’t stop the user from interacting with the form control content. It’s still possible to click inside the textarea, tab to it, highlight the text inside it, and even to copy and paste that content—it just can’t be changed.

The most likely application for this attribute is to stop the user from interfering with the content inside a textarea until such a time as some other condition has been met (for example, a checkbox is checked to confirm the user’s acceptance of terms and conditions). At this point, JavaScript would be required to remove the "readonly" value, making the form control completely usable.

Example

The readonly attribute below prevents the textarea content from being changed:
<form>
  <label for="perfectday">Describe your perfect day:</label>
  <textarea id="perfectday" readonly="readonly" name="perfectday"
      accesskey="d" cols="40" rows="10">
    Sitting by the beach, sipping a cocktail</textarea>
  <input type="submit" value="Tell us"/>
</form>

Value

"readonly" is the only possible value for this attribute.

Compatibility

Internet Explorer Firefox Safari Opera Chrome
5.5 6.0 7.0 8.0 1.0 1.5 2.0 3.0 3.5 1.3 2.0 3.1 4.0 9.2 9.5 10.0 2.0
Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full

It causes no compatibility issues, and has excellent support across all tested browsers.

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